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Kanuka Honey better than Manuka Honey?

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We heard about this meeting via the Auckland Bee Club and thought we would go along. The NBA Meeting has an interesting topic “Is Kanuka Honey better than Manuka Honey?”, so myself and Rocky went to have a listen.

The meeting was held at the Waitemata Honey Company's premises in Albany, so it was pretty close to us, when you take the new motorway that connects Kumeu with Albany.

We were allowed to have a look around the premises, which we gather is used to bottle honey. We were impressed with the size of the extractor and holding tanks. Much more impressive than our smaller extracting process :).

Differences between Manuka and Kanuka honey

The meeting started by Graham Cammell and then followed by a presentation by Dr Jonathan Stephens from Comvita innovations Ltd.

Dr Jonathan Stephens Talks about Kanuka Honey

The discussion was about the differences between Manuka Honey and Kanuka honey. These both come from trees in the tea tree family, so some of the elements are the same.

The big difference in the two honeys is two components that only appear in the respective honey. DHA (dihydroxyacetone) in Manuka and AGP (arabinogalactan protein) in Kanuka honey.

The amount of DHA is how the UMF factor of Manuka honey is determined.

AGP in Kanuka honey stimulates the healing process in your body. So would be good for medicinal purposes.

Kanuka honey has also been shown to give positive benefits in cosmetic uses.

Overseas honey buyers are now checking the HMF factor of honey.

Packers overseas have been known to heat honey to increase it's UMF factor. So sellers now check the HMF to check for honey heating and age.

HMF increases as the honey ages. If the honey is heated during the extraction process, this also increases it's HMF. This can cause the honey to fail it pre sale testing.

Manuka honey shouldn't be stored for more than 3 1/2 years, as it loses it's HMF factor and will also fail, if tested.

Further Reading about the benefits of Kanuka Honey

In May 2013 The Honey Lab web site did an article titled Forget manuka, kanuka Honey is the new superhoney


All in all a very interesting night with a great meal provided, hopefully we will be invited to the next NBA meeting. Thanks to Neil and Audrey for hosting the event at their premises.

P.S. We hope we have all the science correct on this one? If Not please comment below:-

Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop.He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping.Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment.He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.
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9 thoughts on “Kanuka Honey better than Manuka Honey?

  1. Hi Gary,

    I am representing an international buyer Sinolife, whom is specialized in health supplement and health food. This international buyer is currently importing Milk powder, wine, honey and health supplements from Australia. And they have more then 50 specialty stores; the annual revenue is over 40 million NZD.

    Sinolife is very interested in Kanuka honey and would like to enquire do you provide the OEM service for this honey? What are the quote and the MOQ requirement?

    Thank you very much for your kind help! I am looking forward to hearing
    Your promote reply!

    Best regards!

    Wing Wang

    1. Hi Wing,

      Sorry we don’t do that, good luck with finding someone to help you.


      Gary Fawcett

  2. If this is the case? Why is manuka 2X the price of kanuka honey?

    1. I think you will start hearing more about Kanuka Honey in the future Andy.

      There has already been some great studies to prove how great it is.


  3. Hello, I’m the owner of a 215ha block of dense kanuka and i am interested in the studies of kanuka honey over manuka honey. I haven’t established any hives on my place but is there a good market for kanuka honey? Also open to discussion about leasing the land for honey production.
    Any info into this would be much appreciated.

  4. Hi Lance,

    Was wondering what part of the country you are talking about as I am in the western Bay of Plenty? Would be good to discuss the possibilities.
    Regards Greg

  5. Hi, but you talk somewhat about Manuka but say absolutely nothing about Kanuka so how am I to compare the two? Weren’t the two types of honey compared at all during the event with similarities and differences… pros and cons of both?

    Sorry but I guess I have to read elsewhere for the info I need… 😥

  6. The following link is no longer valid and a search on the new website shows no result:
    In May 2012 The web site did an article titled Forget manuka, kanuka Honey is the new superhoney
    Is there another way to get access to this particular article?
    Thanks, Jane

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks for the feedback, this looks it could be this article:-

      I will update the article.


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