Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Manuka Guidelines Need to Align with International Standards

Media Release

Manuka Guidelines Need to Align Closer with International Standard for Honey for NZ to Restore Global Trust Says Country’s Oldest Brand

According to Airborne Honey, New Zealand’s oldest and most technically advanced honey brand, the Interim Labelling Guide for Manuka Honey that was released by the Ministry of Primary Industries last week needs to become closer aligned to the CODEX International Standard for Honey if the aim is to regulate the industry and restore global trust.

The Codex Commission is a group run by the United Nations FAO and represents countries with over 99 percent of the world’s population. According to CODEX, honey may be designated according to a floral or plant source if it comes wholly or mainly from that particular source and has the organoleptic, physicochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with that origin.

“This means manuka must taste like manuka, have a sugar spectrum, mineral levels and pollen content consistent with manuka and be undamaged by heat (HMF levels below 40mg/kg),” explains Peter Bray, Managing Director of Airborne Honey. “Based on longstanding research manuka should contain in excess of 70% manuka pollen to be classified as manuka honey.”

Although the MPI guidelines refer to some elements consistent with CODEX, the guideline's requirement for the presence of manuka type pollen fails to meet the CODEX requirement for "microscopic properties corresponding with that origin", the most important identification tool in the CODEX standard. The presence of Methylglyoxal (MG), a single unstable chemical marker not required by the International Standard has also been included.

“MG has been included after extensive lobbying by those that only measure this chemical,” says Peter. “Other countries already applying the CODEX to manuka honey do not use MG for good reason. It forms from another precursor substance (dihydroxyacetone) that varies widely in manuka nectar, changes at different rates over time and eventually disappears. Current research show that high levels of MG can be found in natural or man made blends containing less than 20% pure manuka honey. Additionally MG can be found in other plant species, meaning it is not unique to manuka and the precursor in manuka nectar is a readily available pharmaceutical ingredient used as the key active ingredient in sunless tanning products.”

“The Interim Labelling Guide for Manuka Honey as it currently stands will not provide consumers or overseas regulators with the assurance that a honey is "wholly or mainly" manuka - they key phrase in the Codex honey standard, the EU honey directive and the UK Honey standards,” adds Peter.

Airborne Honey will continue to adhere to the CODEX International standard for Honey and hopes that the Interim Labelling Guide for Manuka Honey will be aligned closer to the already established and globally recognised Standard.

“It was always going to be a challenge, with so many opinions and different interests involved,” Peter explains. “With exports growing from $11 million in 2000 to $170 million last year and on track to $200 million this year it is clear there are significant financial drivers to the process. We hope that as the interim guide is reviewed over the coming months, it will become more robust and increasingly reflect the proven parameters in the International Standard for Honey. If the guidelines evolve in this way, consumers will eventually enjoy the same benefits enjoyed by Airborne’s current customers – a guarantee that the contents match the label.”

“Airborne Honey has been meeting and exceeding the CODEX International Standard for over 25 years and will continue to do so,” says Peter. “Each batch of honey that arrives and leaves the Airborne premises is tested for multiple parameters in our lab to ensure it meets the CODEX requirements. With manuka, this means it contains at least 70% manuka pollen and has HMF (heat damage) levels below 40mg/kg.”

To provide even greater transparency and honey quality education, Airborne Honey is launching a new online tool called “TraceMe”. A world first, it enables users to either scan a batch specific QR code on the jar or enter the batch code online and see all the data associated with that jar of honey. This includes HMF levels, the sugar profile, pollen percentage and even a map pinpointing the location of the beehives. To use the application, go to http://abh.tips or scan the attached code with a smartphone:

- Ends -


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Australians Scoring Trade Points Against Us With The Chinese

It hasn’t been a great year for Trade Minister Tim Groser... To top it off, Australia has just signed a FTA with China that has far better provisions on dairy exports than what New Zealand currently enjoys in our own FTA with China. More>>

ALSO:

Iwi & Local Consultation: Oil And Gas Block Offer 2015 Begins

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits. More>>

Industrial Action: Stats NZ Throwing Public Money Away Duplicating Data

The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ are throwing money away by collecting the same data twice for official statistics such as the Consumer Price Index... As part of the ongoing industrial action, field interviewers who are PSA members are continuing to collect data, but are not sending it through to Statistics NZ. More>>

ALSO:

Other Stats:

Space: Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing On A Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news