Mānuka Honey Grading Systems

MGO vs UMF® — What’s the Difference? While the terms UMF® (Unique Mānuka Factor) and MGO may first seem confusing, understanding them can help you buy the best quality honey for you and your family.


Methylglyoxal, a component that’s responsible for the antibacterial benefits of Mānuka honey. High levels of MGO (and in turn a good UMF® rating) in Mānuka honey are linked to greater health benefits

UMF® rating
Our system and explains the quality of Mānuka honey based on exclusive characteristics, one of these being MGO. UMF® is a certification provided by the Honey Association of New Zealand. It guarantees the quality, purity and authenticity of Mānuka honey based on the presence of MGO and other important properties. Choosing a product with a higher UMF® rating ensures that you will get maximum health benefits. See our blog for more.

Here at Happy Valley, we provide a variety of lovingly produced, top-quality Mānuka honey rated with the grades UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+, UMF 18+ and UMF 20+. Shop our New Zealand honey today to enjoy a natural health boost that tastes amazing.

What is measured in the UMF Rating? The UMF grading system is more than just a rating number and content claim, it’s a quality trademark that identifies what is natural, unadulterated honey. It measures its Purity, Efficacy and Quality.

We use this system so you can be sure you are getting a pure and quality product:

Purity Measure — Leptosperin:
Unique to Mānuka. It’s a compound found in the nectar of the Mānuka flower and best defines Mānuka compared to other floral types. It also helps us assure you it has come from natural, unadulterated natural Mānuka.            

Efficacy Measure — Methylglyoxal (MGO)
The compound that is primarily responsible for the antibacterial properties of Mānuka and the key content measure of the honey that determines the Grades rating. The higher this compound, the higher UMF Grade we give the honey.             

Quality Measure — Hydroxymethlfurfural (HMF)
Is an organic compound found in honey and can help measure if the product has been adulterated or additional processing has occurred in the honey. We assure that this will be under 40.

How to know your Mānuka honey is Genuine? Here's a checklist to Identify Genuine UMF® Mānuka Honey.

Genuine UMF® Mānuka Honey must comply with all six of the following criteria:

— It has the quality trademark UMF® clearly stated on the front label

— It is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand

— It is from a New Zealand company licensed to use the quality trademark UMF®

— It has the UMF® Licensee's brand name and licence number on the front label

— It has a rating number alongside the trademark UMF®. A number on its own or without the trademark UMF® does not identify genuine UMF® Mānuka Honey

— It must have a minimum level of Leptosperin & MGO to be graded UMF®

      What Do the Numbers Mean?

      To receive a UMF® grading, a honey must have the presence of DHA (dihydroxyacetone), Methylglyoxal and Leptosperin. The UMF® rating is a measure of the attributes and values that make up Mānuka honey and assures purity & quality. 

      Methylglyoxal (MGO) Level

      UMF® Grade

      ≥83 mg/kg


      ≥263 mg/kg


      ≥514 mg/kg


      ≥696 mg/kg


      ≥829 mg/kg


      ≥1122 mg/kg


      ≥1200 mg/kg


      ≥1282 mg/kg