Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Zealand Medicinal Honey Shipment Being Checked

Million Dollar Manuka Honey Batch Under Examination
Scoop, 1/19/2010

One of New Zealand’s top honey exporters has identified a potential problem with several batches of high value Manuka honey.

Timaru-based Honey Valley is one of New Zealand’s major Manuka honey exporters. In November last year the company purchased a quantity of Manuka honey from a beekeeping supplier.

“The honey comes from hives with very high unique manuka antibacterial activity. All honey processed by Honey Valley undergoes “very strict pre-processing checking and testing”, says company Managing Director, Steve Lyttle.

“These batches of honey displayed slightly abnormal C4 sugar levels (cane sugar) when pre-processing testing was carried out. My production team set honey aside and we took core samples from the various batches and sent them to the world’s top honey quality testing laboratory: Intertek in Germany. The results came back suggesting slightly unnatural levels of cane sugar and I advised the NZ Food Safety Authority. They looked at the analyses and placed a hold on the honey subject to the results of their own investigation,” says Lyttle.
“It’s important to note that the manuka honey had also been tested for its UMF activity rating by NZ laboratories in Hamilton. The honey has very good UMF activity. So the issue isn’t about the honey’s UMF Manuka antibacterial activity but about the abnormal presence of cane sugar,” says Lyttle…

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