What’s in a label? And what can you learn from it?

If you or anybody in your family has a special diet then looking at food labels becomes quite the habit.

You learn to spot ingredients which are bad for you and know what types of food need double checking.

But if you’re not used to scouring the back of everything you eat, then it can all become a little confusing.

There is however a VERY good reason to check the ingredients list when considering a Manuka honey.

You’d think it would be a fair assumption that a jar of Manuka only contains one thing wouldn’t you? Pure Manuka honey from the beehive? Well you would be right. To an extent..

Country of Origin (and place of packing):

Firstly under the Honey Regulations 2015 rules, all honey must list its country of origin on the label.

That’s why all our Manuka Doctor honey simply says “Product of New Zealand” with a special New Zealand Made logo. Because all our honey is harvested and packed in the country of origin. It is never packed in a “third country”. When we screw the security seal onto your jar in our factory in Hamilton, NZ. Nobody opens it until you do.

But this is not true for all types of Manuka honey you can buy here in Ireland.

Some brands will declare they are a “Product of New Zealand” but then underneath it may say “Packed in the UK”. And not something the company may want you to know.

In reality it's likely it means that their Manuka honey has likely been exported out of New Zealand in giant metal drums. It then gets processed and packed in the UK. Which is out of the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Government.

Manuka Doctor doesn’t do this, because in our view, the supply chain is broken.

Our Hive to Home® promise means that we can trace every single jar we produce right back to the group of bee-hives it was created from. It’s something that sets Manuka Doctor apart from other brands, and as a consumer, helps protect you from a poor quality product or worse, an imitation.

Blended honey:

One further thing to check is that some honey may be listed as a blend, from two different countries.

This is a grey area where you must apply caution.

The Honey Regulations 2015 also states that when a honey originates from more than one country then it must be declared as a blend.

In essence if a Manuka honey is listed as a “Manuka Blend” it likely means the product you could be paying quite a handsome sum for may have been diluted or mixed with cheaper honey. So therefore not contain not as much Manuka as you think!

If a label reads “Blend of EU and non-EU honey” be wary if the honey claims to be a Manuka on the front. Because inherently it means that it is from AT LEAST two different honey sources that have been mixed together.

Manufacturers do not need to state how many different blends of honey are used in their finished products, they only need to state if it is EU and non-EU - which often means cheaper Chinese honey.

Our blog on how to avoid Fake Manuka honey provides some useful tips on what to look for.

You can read it here

All Manuka Doctor honey is harvested and packed in New Zealand and tested five-times between the bee-keeper and sale. You can view our current special offers here.

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