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First certified manuka honey launched

NEWS RELEASE

24 January 2008


First certified manuka honey launched in wake of scientist’s discovery of antibacterial ingredient

Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd today announced the launch of the first manuka honey products certified to contain specified levels of the antibacterial ingredient.

This follows publication by a German university scientist of a paper which shows for the first time the natural compound Methylglyoxal is responsible for manuka honey’s unique health-giving properties.

Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul said the University of Dresden’s discovery was highly significant for the honey industry and for consumers.

“We now know the natural compound Methylglyoxal is what makes manuka honey special.”

“As a result Manuka Health is proud to be the first company to market manuka honey indicating the Methylglyoxal level.

Mr Paul predicted the MGO™ Manuka Honey scale would become the standard against which Manuka honey would be measured in future.

MGO™ Manuka Honey will be available in stores from this week with Methylglyoxal levels ranging from 100 to 700 mg/kg indicated by collar labels.

For example, honey labelled MGO™ 400 contains at least 400 mg/kg of dietary Methylglyoxal.

Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd is a honey health science company which develops and exports bee products such as Manuka honey, propolis extracts, bee pollen, bee venom and royal jelly (http://www.manukahealth.co.nz).

MGO™ Manuka Honey is a trademark of Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd. The University of Dresden is a research partner of Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd.

The launch of the MGO™ Manuka Honey range coincides with the publication in a scientific journal of an article identifying Methylglyoxal as the dominant antibacterial constituent in Manuka honey.

Professor Dr. Thomas Henle, Head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden, writing in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, refers to the results of a Dresden study which “unambiguously demonstrates for the first time that Methylglyoxal is directly responsible for the antibacterial activity of manuka honey.”

Prof Henle notes the high amounts of Methylglyoxal found in manuka honey have not been found in any other food.

Researchers at the university analysed 40 samples of honey from various sources around the world, including six New Zealand manuka honeys.

They found Methylglyoxal levels in the manuka honeys, including a Manuka Health product, were up to 1000-fold higher than in the non-manuka products.

Their tests found a median Methylglyoxal level in non-manuka honeys of 3.1 mg/kg. Concentrations of the compound in manuka honey ranged from 38 to 761 mg/kg. A minimum of 100 mg/kg is required for effective antibacterial activity.

The Technical University of Dresden is one of the oldest and most prestigious German Universities, located in Saxony (http://tu-dresden.de)

The university’s Institute of Food Chemistry is a world leader in food analysis, in particular analysis of compounds resulting from glycation reactions and carbohydrate degradation (a process which proteins and carbohydrates undergo during food processing and storage).

The university’s skill base attracts major multi-nationals to collaborate in research. New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra interchanges staff and students with the university to carry out research.


Professor Henle is a world-leading chemist in understanding how carbohydrates in food change in response to certain conditions. He has published more than 80 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals since 1991.


Professor Henle is joint Editor in Chief of the journal“European Food Research and Technology”, president of the German Society of Food Chemistry, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, and a referee of the German Research Society.


(An abstract of Prof Henle’s article is available from the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research website - http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/117891459/ABSTRACT


ENDS

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