Leptospermum flowers and the bioactive fraction of Methylglyoxal (MGO) contained in the nectar of these Manuka flowers are the key driving force behind the antibacterial effect of Manuka honey.
Researchers in Germany, at the University of Dresden, were able to identify the active antibacterial component of the honey as MGO. This led MGO to replace NPA as the key indicator of the strength of a Manuka honey. MGO is very accurate and is directly measurable by HPLC, unlike NPA and the old agar plate assay method which is over one hundred years old and prone to error. Reliable MGO testing methods are used in both New Zealand and Australia to indicate the strength and potency of the natural antibacterial Manuka honey.
We recognise that MGO is the most reliable method for informing consumers about the quality of the honey they are buying.
Research in Japan has also identified that there are some unique chemical identifiers present in Leptospermum honeys that are not found in regular honey, which makes it very easy to differentiate between fake product and pure, natural Manuka honey. We have tested Australian Manuka honey for these unique chemical markers, including Leptopserin and Methyl Syringate, and have found them in abundance.