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

 

Honey companies knew UMF test was inaccurate

Honey companies knew UMF test was inaccurate

Thursday, May 29, 2008. —

Manuka honey companies which rely on the UMF test for anti-bacterial activity have known for five years it is inaccurate and unreliable.

A newspaper distributed today across the manuka honey industry reveals the UMF test is “not repeatable”, with results from multiple tests on the same sample varying by up to 50%.

The UMF (unique manuka factor) test is the basis of domestic and export manuka honey and honey product markets worth more than $100 million a year.

The Manuka Expose´ newspaper publishes excerpts from minutes of a meeting of the Active Manuka Honey Association and a letter to AMHA from the testing laboratory which show test problems were known to honey companies in 2003.

Manuka Expose´ is published by Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd which uses the recently-discovered active ingredient methylglyoxal to measure anti-bacterial strength.

When Manuka Health launched MGO™ manuka honey earlier this year, AMHA invalidly terminated the company’s membership and revoked its licence to use the UMF brand.

In an article headed “Test lab, producers knew of UMF errors” the tabloid paper says the UMF test is based on an agar diffusion technique “used as a screening method to give a general classification of anti-bacterial activity”.

“Micobiologists never use the method as a precise measurement,” the paper says. “Because of the variation inherent in the technique, results are normally interpreted as part of a range.”

“Despite this, AMHA adopted UMF as an exact measure — with unfortunate consequences for beekeepers, honey producers and consumers.”

Test variations are a source of conflict between beekeepers and honey producers, the paper says, causing differences in payment of up to $2000 for a 300 kg drum of honey.

Manuka Expose´ says AMHA knew of the issue in 2003 when it set up a committee to address the problem.

Five test options were considered, including a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay developed by a Crop and Food scientist. However, this method was never adopted.

AMHA was made further aware of the test’s limitations in July 2006 when the laboratory it had certified to carry out UMF tests wrote to detail its concerns.

The newspaper quotes New Zealand Laboratory Services Ltd manager Gordana Aleksic admitting a problem with the “repeatability of results” for honeys with high anti-bacterial levels.

The letter also admits NZ Labs has no answer to the problem of partial inhibition, where bacteria in the test are not 100% inhibited. Repeat tests on the same honey alternate between “partial” and “clear”.

Another Manuka Expose´ article reveals AMHA was last year offered methylglyoxal testing as a solution to the problems with UMF tests, but did not reply.

A digital version of Manuka Expose´ is available online at http://www.manukahealth.co.nz/data/dl/Manuka_Expose_May08.pdf

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>

ALSO:


Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: