What does MGO stand for in Manuka Honey? 

what does MGO stand for in Manuka Honey

What about UMF and NPA? We give you the inside information on Nature’s Superfood.

The grading on your Manuka honey has changed from lots of complicated letters to a simple MGO rating – here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re getting the right honey for you!

Manuka Honey is harvested from the hives around the wild Manuka bush in New Zealand. All honey has an anti-bacterial effect, but scientists discovered that Manuka Honey’s effect is far more potent than normal table honey.

What’s changed with Manuka?

manuka honey change

The New Zealand government has now brought in more strict legislation around Manuka Honey and how it’s labelled, and all Manuka honey exported from New Zealand must now be laboratory tested to prove it’s authentic – which means that the honey you purchase may look different.

The tests check for:

  • Four active ingredients only found in Manuka Honey
  • The DNA of Manuka pollen

So you can rest assured that what you’re buying is the real deal!

What to look for?

Labels on all Manuka Honey products now carry authenticity stamps, showing that the honey has passed those stringent lab tests.

The potency labelling on Manuka Honey to make it simpler to understand. Previously it was measured in a range of different types of activity, like ‘TA’, ‘Active’, ‘UMF’ and ‘NPA’. See the table below for comparisons.

MGO Level UMF/NPA Grade
85 MGO 5+
140 MGO 6+
240 MGO 8+
300 MGO 10+
525 MGO 15+
850 MGO 20+

What is MGO?

MGO is used to measure the anti-bacterial strength of Manuka Honey.

All honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which provides anti-bacterial action. However, in normal honey, the hydrogen peroxide breaks down meaning the anti-bacterial benefits are lost.

Manuka Honey contains additional anti-bacterial properties, like MGO, which continue to work even after the hydrogen peroxide has disappeared. The higher the MGO, the better the anti-bacterial properties are.

Monofloral v multifloral

Manuka Honey will now also be divided into two categories: monofloral and multifloral.

  • MonofloralManuka Honey is made by bees foraging mainly from Manuka bushes, so it contains only a small amount of nectar from other plants. It is classed as a purer Manuka Honey.
  • MultifloralManuka Honey is also mainly honey from a Manuka bush, but those bees have travelled further afield so it contains a wider range of nectar from other plants.