Manuka honey is not a typical pantry staple that you can find at just any grocery store. It is a special type of honey with powerful medical and health benefits. Manuka honey is also one of the most expensive types of honey.
So, why is it so expensive?
Multiple factors are responsible for the high price, such as the rarity of the Manuka flowers and the harvesting process. The extensive testing and licensing procedures also contribute to the higher cost.
The Origin of Manuka Honey
We can trace the origin of manuka honey to remote hilly areas of New Zealand and Australia. Here, the Manuka flowers bloom for less than six weeks every year. So, there is a very small window for bees to collect their nectar.
Once the bees have collected the honey, the next challenge arises when the beekeepers must harvest it. It often becomes necessary to use helicopters for fast and efficient harvesting. Furthermore, extracting the honey using sustainable practices is a specialized task.
Not only is it difficult to harvest the honey, but the yield is also limited. Only a small amount of the harvested honey usually qualifies as good quality Manuka honey.
What makes Manuka honey so expensive?
We already saw that it is difficult to obtain Manuka honey due to the rarity and remote location of Manuka flowers. The harvest period is short and prone to weather conditions. Extracting Manuka honey is also a tiresome task for beekeepers. The cost compensates for all these factors.
Another factor responsible for the higher cost is the extensive testing and certification process after the harvest. Every sample undergoes rigorous testing. The certifying organization looks for the presence of various chemical markers like Leptosperin, Methylglyoxal, and DHA to determine the purity and quality of honey.
So, the cost for testing and licensing is also adjusted in the price of the honey. However, UMF certification is indispensable as it is a mark of authenticity and guarantees good honey.
How is Manuka honey different from other types of honey?
Manuka honey is renowned for its excellent therapeutic properties, and it tastes good.
Authentic Manuka honey is sweet and delicious with a creamy texture. The color of the honey depends on the UMF level. Strong honey tends to be darker. It will also have a distinct medicinal flavor. Interestingly, the flavor and color of good Manuka honey will intensify over time.
The Verdict: Is Manuka honey worth the price?
While there are various types of honey, Manuka honey is the superior choice because of its medicinal and health benefits. Pure Manuka honey is just as valuable as it is rare.
It has unparalleled anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. Manuka honey improves gut health and boosts immunity. It is a magical elixir that combats various skin conditions.
Manuka honey is expensive. However, if you consider the rarity of Manuka flowers, the cumbersome harvesting, and testing process, and most importantly its beneficial medicinal value, the cost is justified. So, if you want real Manuka honey, be ready to pay the price.