Section A: Mānuka Honey General Questions

1. What is Mānuka Honey?
Mānuka Honey comes from the nectar of the flower of the Mānuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is indigenous to New Zealand and has been used for wellness remedies when bees arrived in New Zealand during 1839 but only gained notoriety in the 1980s when Dr. Peter Molan - New Zealand’s renowned biochemist - conducted a research and confirmed the unique antibacterial properties produced by the nectar of this plant. Though the healing properties of Mānuka had already been known in traditional Māori medicine for centuries.


2. When do the Mānuka Flowers bloom?
The flowering period of each area is only 2 - 6 weeks per year, between September and March, and are naturally found in the remotest parts of New Zealand.


3. How hard is it to source honey?
There are only limited resources of Mānuka grown wild in New Zealand. The honey comes from wild Mānuka bushes, which are also very sensitive to weather conditions and influences how much nectar the flowers produce. Mānuka also only begins to flower in year four and five after planting, but it takes six years to reach full production.


4. Why is Mānuka Honey so expensive?
Mānuka Honey only has a small window for harvest and is difficult to extract especially for monofloral Mānuka Honey as collecting it is not as simple as other types of honey. Mānuka Honey is also incredibly sensitive to seasonal weather conditions. There are also limited fields of wild Mānuka bushes and it is not easy ensuring that bees exclusively pollinate the Mānuka flower to produce monofloral jars of Mānuka Honey.

Did you know that averagely it takes bees 22700 trips to the Mānuka Flower to gather the nectar needed in order to create a single jar of honey, top it off with a short flowering window, producing Mānuka Honey is a lot of work in a very short period of time.


5. How is it different from other honey? What makes Mānuka Honey special?

The honey produced by bees from the nectar of native New Zealand Mānuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) is prized for its unique antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral activities and antioxidant properties. Scientific research has found that naturally occurring methylglyoxal (MGO) is the key compound in Mānuka Honey that gives its antibacterial properties that are different from other honeys. In addition, the mixture of natural compounds in  Mānuka Honey work synergistically with MGO which contributes to the effectiveness of Methylglyoxal.

In short, all honey will inhibit the growth of bacteria to some extent because it contains hydrogen peroxide, but Mānuka honey continues inhibiting bacterial growth even when the peroxide is deactivated.


6. What are the benefits of Mānuka Honey?
Mānuka Honey is a great addition to your self-care routine. Here is a list of benefits of Mānuka Honey

  • Promote oral health
  • Relieve cough
  • Soothe sore throat
  • Relieve heartburn
  • Relieve acid reflux
  • Support digestive health
  • Support skin health
  • Wound healing


Section B: FMD Mānuka Honey 

1. Why FMD’s Mānuka Honey?
Our high-quality products are sourced, packed, labeled and shipped directly from New Zealand to ensure our consumers are gaining 100% genuine Mānuka Honey. FMD Mānuka Honey is UMF™-certified and MGO graded by the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA), a third party verification system that ensures the identity, potency and quality of Mānuka Honey.

FMD Mānuka Honey is also sourced from an eco-friendly, sustainable 100% Māori-owned operation based in Whakatāne. FMD’s partner (Onuku Honey) is also the first in the industry to utilize a track and trace authentication system (ApiTrack) which allows consumers to trace each bottle of Mānuka Honey all the way back to its source and lab test results simply by scanning the NFC tag on the label. The money made from this joint venture is also given back to the Māori trust that aims to support and rebuild Māori cultural traditions and members. 


2. Where are the Mānuka Honey sourced from?
FMD Mānuka Honey is produced by Onuku Limited, a 100% Māori owned company who is strongly connected to the Ngati Rangitihi iwi (tribe). The operation is a subsidiary with the Onuku Māori Lands Trust (OMLT) who owns, administers and farms approximately 2363 Hectares of prime land at the base of the mighty Mount Tarawera, who aims to support the Māori people by rebuilding their cultural traditions and provide for each member. The honey is sourced from several North Island locations such as Mount Tarawera, Central Plateau, East Cape etc, the pristine wild fields of New Zealand.


3. What’s the story behind Māori and the Mānuka plant?
Did you know that Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand culturally connected as the people responsible for protecting Mānuka for all generations? Long before this precious honey was cultivated for human consumption, the Mānuka plant was used in Rongoā Māori, the traditional Māori healing system for centuries, both topically and as a special tea. Now Mānuka honey is produced by bees from the nectar of Mānuka tree blossoms.

4. What information does the NFC tag carry?
By scanning the NFC tag, you would gain access to information such as batch specific info, region info, lab test results and UMF Certification. You can also find a tutorial on how to interpret the Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Click here to find out more


Section C: Mānuka Honey Authenticity

1. Who tests Mānuka honey to ensure it's genuine? Is it tested in New Zealand before it is exported?
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) of New Zealand, a government organisation independent from the honey industry, requires all honey labelled as Mānuka for export to be tested by an MPI-recognised laboratory to make sure it meets the Mānuka honey definition.

The definition is made up of a combination of 5 attributes - 1 DNA marker from Mānuka pollen and 4 chemical markers from Mānuka pollen). This separates Mānuka Honey from other honey and helps identify the honey as either monofloral or multifloral Mānuka Honey.

The other would be through a third party authentication system that licenses Mānuka Honey brands with the UMF trademark (UMF™) which was established by the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) in 1998.


2. What does UMFᵀᴹ mean?
UMFᵀᴹ is the abbreviation for ‘Unique Mānuka Factor’ and is the established standard of measure by the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) that quantifies natural markers found in Mānuka Honey to assure the quality, purity and authenticity. Only Mānuka Honey that is UMFᵀᴹ and has been independently tested by UMFHA is given a UMFᵀᴹ rating.

For more info:


3. What does the UMF rating stand for?
The UMF number represents the unique signature compounds characteristic of this honey which ensure purity and quality. These include: the key markers of Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal.


4. What’s the difference behind the rating number UMF 5+ (100+ MGO) and UMF 12+ (400+ MGO)?
The higher the UMF™ rating on the product, the higher the concentration of signature compounds found in Mānuka honey, indicates greater antibacterial potency.


5. What is the meaning of MGO rating?
This is the compound which gives Mānuka Honey its unique properties. Though UMF™ is the gold standard, MGO is a great addition that gives an indication of the physical amount of the active ingredient per jar. The higher the MGO rating, the higher the grade of honey.


Section D: General Consumption of Mānuka Honey

1. Is your honey raw ?
Raw honey is honey that has not been strained, filtered or heated and may often include particles of wax, propolis and pollen. FMD Mānuka Honey is not ‘raw’ as the honey must be warmed to remove it from the honeycombs and is filtered to ensure our customers’ jars are filled with only pure Mānuka Honey.


2. Is your honey pasteurized?
The reason for pasteurizing honey is different from pasteurizing dairy products, there is no safety concern for unpasteurized honey as it is naturally anti-microbial. Instead, pasteurization is mainly done to help to keep the honey in a liquid state for longer.

FMD Mānuka Honey is unpasteurized and creamed instead as nutrients are lost in the heating process. This helps to preserve the naturally occurring antioxidants and enzymes in the honey.


3. How to consume Mānuka Honey?
The most popular and simplest use of Mānuka honey is to eat it straight off the spoon and fully enjoy its flavor. This way, the Mānuka Honey can melt in the mouth and coat the throat and soothe the stomach, ensuring that the unique compounds in this honey are in direct contact with the irritated areas.

Mānuka honey can also be added into food and beverages, such as enjoyed together in tea to benefit from its soothing properties.


4. Who is not suitable to consume Mānuka Honey?
Children under 1 year old, vegans, individuals allergic to bee products and individuals with diabetes have to be cautioned.

5. Why can’t infants below 1 year old consume Mānuka Honey?
No, it is not advised for children below 1 year old to consume Mānuka Honey due to the possible presence of Clostridium botulinum spores. Babies may get infant botulism after consuming spores of that bacteria, which then grow and multiply in their intestinal tracts and make toxins.

Babies lack the gut microflora which controls the bacteria replication after ingestion of spores. However, the level of frequency of spores found in honey is generally low worldwide.


6. Can individuals with diabetes consume Mānuka Honey
1 teaspoon contains 21 calories and 5g of sugar (all naturally occurring, none added). The carbohydrate content is equivalent to ⅓ slice of bread. Normally these would not affect the blood sugar drastically, however individuals with diabetes mainly have to control their daily diet as intake of refined carbohydrate may lead to fluctuations of blood sugar.


7. Can pregnant mothers consume Mānuka Honey?
Women have consumed Mānuka Honey during pregnancy with no reported problems. However, always consult a medical professional as necessary, especially pregnant mothers with Gestational Diabetes.


8. How do I store Mānuka Honey? And how long can I store the Mānuka Honey?
It is not necessary to store Mānuka Honey in the refrigerator. The shelf life is 4 years.


9. What can I do if my honey has crystallized or turned granular?
If your Mānuka Honey crystallizes, it is still perfectly fine to consume and it does not mean that it is of poor quality. All honey can crystallize, and this is of no concern. They can also liquify. This would be the same as water moving from water to ice and back. Crystallization does not degrade the beneficial attributes of Mānuka Honey, the quality and inherent benefits of honey stays the same.


10. Will mold be formed if honey is not stored into the refrigerator?
Honey is not prone to mold, it is naturally antimicrobial, low in moisture, high in natural sugars and has a slightly acidic pH. Moisture and contamination is more of a factor compared to temperature. If the jar of honey is left open or if it gets wet because a wet spoon is put into the jar, this could disturb the honey’s ability to stay mold free. Make sure to use only clean utensils and close the lid after consumption to prevent the jars from becoming contaminated. If the honey is properly handled, there should be no issues with mold.


11. Will hot temperature (mixing Mānuka Honey with hot water) or cooking methods such as roasting and baking affect the effectiveness of the active ingredients in Mānuka Honey?
Adding Mānuka Honey to hot beverages like teas of coffee before drinking is fine. Heating honey to higher temperatures could damage the honey and create unhealthy compounds (as with heating sugar in general). For best results in terms of health benefits, the honey should come in direct contact with mucous membranes for skin.


12. Can I use Mānuka Honey on topically?
We do recommend using Mānuka Honey topically and even as facial masks. Mānuka Honey has active components and antibacterial effects that may have beneficial effects on wound healing and people do use Mānuka Honey on rashes, rosacea, eczema, and minor burns.

But please be aware that using our Mānuka Honey on serious deep open ulcers, infections and severe wounds is not something we want to suggest or promote - since in the hospitals, when they use Mānuka Honey on wounds, they first sterilize (or pasteurize) the honey.


13. Why does most New Zealand Manuka Honey come in plastic rather than glass jars?

FMD Mānuka Honey are bottled in 100% recyclable, food grade BPA-free PET jars. BPA free PET jars are used because it is lightweight and to avoid the risk of contamination with glass shards in case of breakage during the production process. If glass shards are present due to a breakage during filling, the entire batch would have to be destroyed due to risk of glass contained in the product.