November 13, 2015
New Invention Helps Honey Lovers Find the Real Thing
A new invention was unveiled at Parliament earlier this month that can help the honey industry determine whether or not a jar of Manuka honey is real. A team at Auckland University created a portable unit that shines a light onto the honey that has the ability to pick up on two signature compounds that help to set apart “real” Manuka honey blends from imitators. According to John Rawcliffe, Honey association spokesman, the tool can also help identify honeys and their profiles.
"This honey, like all honeys are unique, all plants are unique - they have unique profiles. This is a tool that can measure that," said Rawcliffe. Manuka honey is currently in very high demand and consumers are paying a premium for this honey. Since the cost is so high, many control organizations that deal in the industry want to make sure consumers are getting exactly what they are paying for. With the popularity of Manuka honey on the rise, more and more counterfeit operations are popping up.
Much of the popularity that Manuka honey is seeing is due to the possibility of it being a remedy product. Many of its potential uses include skin remedies for acne and other skin ailments, as well as the possibility that it is able to help with flesh wounds and treat infections. Since Manuka honey has been known for centuries for its antibacterial properties, more and more consumers are turning to this natural product for a number of different applications instead of using processed goods and chemicals.
Since the price of Manuka honey is continuing to rise more and more individuals are trying to get their hand in the game to be able to cash in on the demand. Because of this, some honey producers are mixing Manuka honey with other types of honey but labeling it as “pure.” Since this type of mislabeling is illegal, the honey industry has been looking for ways to counteract these operations and continue to allow the Manuka honey industry in New Zealand to thrive – this device may be the answer.
Rawcliffe, among many other professionals, believes that Manuka honey is an important industry and export for the country, so protecting its integrity is a top priority to keep the profits rolling. "It’s going to be quite a powerful tool to strengthen the market, to improve production and help the consumer."