Two of the most common questions we get asked at Manuka Doctor HQ are “what is raw Manuka honey” and “is raw Manuka honey better for me?”
This blog explains the facts about Raw Manuka Honey and how Manuka Doctor’s range fits in.
What is Raw Manuka Honey?
In the context of food, the term raw usually means that the item has not been pasteurised or heat treated as part of the packing process.
That’s because over-heating foods could damage some of the nutritional benefits they contain.
However, whilst a lot of Manuka honey brands claim that their honey is “raw”, there is little to no regulations around what defines raw honey which can lead to confusion in the category.
Is Manuka Doctor’s honey raw?
Yes. Manuka Doctor can proudly say that our company is certified as Raw by the International Clean Food Certification Body.
This independent body is required as at the time of writing there is no single definition of what “raw honey” means across the world.
Manuka Doctor’s honey is never pasteurised and as such is classified as raw.
Is Manuka Doctor’s honey filtered?
Often when Raw Manuka is extracted from the beehive it may contain wax, propolis and other debris left in the hives by the bees.
At Manuka Doctor we lightly filter our honey before it is packed to ensure that you receive the consistency that you expect which is free from any foreign objects being in your jar.
What does creamed mean?
Creaming means stirring and is a process of natural granulation of the honey.
It’s required because in its liquid form, natural sugars in any honey want to return to their solid state. This usually leads to unsightly (yet completely harmless) natural sugar crystals forming in honey over time. To avoid these crystals from forming, we lightly cream our honey.
Creamed honey is honey that has been stirred to control crystallisation. It gives the honey its smooth consistency and lighter colour than liquid honey of the same floral type.
And it means that when you open your jar of honey it is the same taste in the UK as it was when packed 11,000 miles away in New Zealand.
Some Manuka Honey may be un-creamed and this will have a more grainy texture. Un-creamed Manuka honey will usually have larger sugar crystals and may be harder in consistency as a result.
Some Manuka Honey says raw on the label but yours does not, why is this?
This is because of the Honey England Regulations 2015. A legal regulation which covers honey companies who operate within the UK.
It deems that all honey is classified as “raw” at the point it is harvested and it only becomes “not raw” if it is pasteurised, heat treated or otherwise processed to the point that its composition is changed.
A second UK regulation called the Food Information Regulations 2014 prohibits the use of descriptions which “suggest that a food possesses special characteristics when all foods of this type have the same characteristics”.
In other words, while Manuka Doctor honey meets all the criteria for being raw, it is not permitted to use this term on the label in the UK.
Any honey company who states raw on their label are working outside of these two legal guidelines.
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