Decoding The Manuka Honey Mystery: What Does K factor and UMF Mean?
Manuka isn’t just any other ordinary honey you’ve sued before. It’s a superfood that plays an excellent role in combating disease-causing bacteria, promoting digestive system health, treating wounds and burns, taking care of your skin, and so much more.
Given that everyone is now selling manuka honey, how do you determine the best (high quality) grade?
How do you compare different manuka honey?
Below, we’ll look at the two primary manuka honey designations that would greatly help you get the best grade manuka honey for your needs.
These designations include: Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) and K Factor.
Let’s get into the details:
What is Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)?
We start with one of the most used designations in Manuka honey, the UMF. In simple terms, this refers to the quality trademark that’s only used by licensed brands in new Zealand that have met all the set standards for quality manuka honey.
The grading usually measures the presence of leptosperin, DHA (dihydroxyacetone), and methylglyoxal- the NPA levels- to confirm that indeed its manuka honey.
When buying honeys with UMF labels, which grading should you pick?
A good question,
I’d advise you to go for one that features a rating of UMF 10+. Such honey has been rated to have an UMF rating of not below 10; it could even be higher than 10.
However, Manuka honey with a rating of 16+ would be a better choice than 10+.
In other words, the higher the UMF rating, the higher the quality of manuka honey.
Note: UMF heavily focusses on the methylglyoxal levels, making it a limited designation that does not consider other important honey factors like pH, antioxidant levels, purity, and so on.
What is Manuka K Factor?
You might have come across the terms active manuka honey… or even spotted the same on the bottle of honey in the stores.
So, what does active manuka mean?
To explain this, let’s discuss our second designation- the K factor.
The K factor has been used to replace the “Active,” which has shown to be ambiguous at times. Next time you see Active label and K Factor label, just know they stand for the same thing.
You might be asking yourself what factors are taken into account when measuring the K factor for manuka honey, right?
Here’s the list:
- live enzymes
- over 250 chemical residues
- phenolic compounds
- antioxidant levels
- pH level consistency
- the pollen count, 70% or more
It’s good to note that the K-factor rating is used by Wedderspoon Company, whose ongoing research has contributed many innovations into the manuka honey.
From our discussion above, we can clearly see that the UMF and K factors have a sharp difference in relation to manuka honey. While UMF focusses on the presence of the leptosperin, DHA (dihydroxyacetone), and methylglyoxal (the NPA levels) only, the K factor focusses on the live enzymes, purity, over 250 chemical residues, phenolic compounds, antioxidant levels, pH level consistency, pollen count (70% or more).
Despite these differences, both designations are important factors that will lead you to the best quality Manuka honey for your needs.