Mānuka Honey Grading Systems

MGO vs UMF® — What’s the Difference?

The terms UMF® and MGO can seem confusing, understanding them can help you buy the best quality Mānuka honey for you and your family.

MGO (Methylglyoxal)

Methylglyoxal, one of the naturally occurring signature compounds found in the nectar of Mānuka flowers. This amazing component is linked to antibacterial equivalency. Methylglyoxal content, and a high UMF® rating are all linked to excellent Mānuka honey with the best benefits

UMF® (Unique Mānuka Factor) rating

Our UMF grading system explains the quality of Mānuka honey based on exclusive characteristics, one of these being MGO.

The Honey Association of New Zealand issues the UMF® certification. This mark guarantees the quality, purity and authenticity of Manuka honey based on the presence of MGO and other signature compounds. Choosing labels with higher ratings ensures you’re receiving honey with maximum health benefits See our blog for more.

Here at Happy Valley, we provide a variety of lovingly produced, top-quality Mānuka honey products. We rate them against the UMF® grading system: UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+, UMF 18+ and UMF 20+. Purchase our New Zealand honey today to enjoy a natural boost for your body that also tastes amazing.

What does the UMF® Rating measure? More than just a rating number and content claim, the UMF® grading system is a quality trademark that identifies natural, unadulterated Manuka honey that measures purity and efficacy.

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

Purity Measure — Leptosperin:
Leptosperin is a signature compound found in the nectar of the Mānuka flower and is what makes Mānuka unique. As one of Mānuka’s primary authenticity markers, it assures you it has come from natural, unadulterated, natural Mānuka.

Efficacy Measure — Methylglyoxal (MGO)
MGO gives Mānuka its special benefits and is the honey’s key content measure that determines its grading. The higher the MGO levels, the higher the UMF® grade.

Quality Measure — Hydroxymethlfurfural (HMF)
Hydroxymethylfurfural is a key indicator used to detect heat treatment or ageing of a product. The HMF content should not exceed 40 milligrams per kilogram. Levels higher than this can indicate excess heat treatment, or the product was stored at elevated temperatures for long periods. We guarantee that our honey’s HMF measurement will be under 40.

How do I convert MGO to UMF® and what do the numbers mean?

Honey must contain DHA (dihydroxyacetone), Methylglyoxal and Leptosperin to receive a UMF® grading. The grading system measures the attributes and values that make up Manuka honey and assures purity and quality.

Refer to our handy chart below for the UMF vs MGO of Manuka honey:

Methylglyoxal (MGO) Level

≥83 mg/kg

≥263 mg/kg

≥514 mg/kg

≥696 mg/kg

≥829 mg/kg

≥1122 mg/kg

≥1200 mg/kg

≥1282 mg/kg

UMF® Grade









Browse our site for the latest offers. Add your orders for Manuka honey, propolis and royal jelly from Happy Valley to your cart today! We deliver our honey to your table, with reliable domestic and international shipping available.