Waikato Scientists Uncovering the Secrets of Manuka Trees
Voxy, Tuesday, 21 October, 2014
The results of a University of Waikato study surveying the flowers of mānuka trees around the North Island has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The research conducted by the University of Waikato honey chemistry team was led by Associate Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris.
"Mānuka honey contains bioactivity that originates from a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in the nectar of the mānuka flower. However not all mānuka trees produce the same amounts of DHA and therefore mānuka trees are not necessarily equal in their ability to create bioactive honey," says Assoc Prof Manley-Harris.
The Waikato honey team spent the past few years surveying the flowers of mānuka trees around the North Island and testing their nectar for DHA.
Throughout the study the team classified the nectars as high, medium or low based upon the quantity of DHA in the nectar. Variations from low, to moderate or high were observed between years for the same trees in some locations and differences between regions in the North Island were also observed. "Perhaps most significantly trees within a 100 metre radius in one location showed variation from low to high."…