Scientific experts agree that measuring the level of the active compound - methylglyoxal - in manuka honey is a robust test of its anti-bacterial activity.
"Testing for methylglyoxal is a clear and unambiguous way of letting consumers know that the antibacterial activity of the honey is the genuine, special type of activity for which manuka honey is famous," says Professor Peter Molan, director of the University of Waikato's honey research unit.
Professor Thomas Henle of the Technical University of Dresden, who identified methylglyoxal in 2006 as the compound responsible for manuka honey's unique antibacterial properties, also says testing for methylglyoxal levels in manuka honey is a reliable, quantitative method.
"A labelling system has to be scientifically sound, based on a method which is published and can be used in any laboratory. This is definitely the case for methylglyoxal manuka honey labelling."
The methylglyoxal rating system measures actual levels of the compound responsible for manuka honey's antibacterial activity, methylglyoxal.
Both experts agreed that the special activity of manuka honey was its non-peroxide, antibacterial activity and that the level of that activity was in line with the level of methlyglyoxal.
However, both professors said the correlation between the two was approximate and should be used only as a guide for rating manuka honey…