In recent years terms that refer to the nature of how foods have been harvested, collected, produced have become ever more popular. Natural, organic, whole, raw are all descriptors used to instill a sense of “healthy choice” in the consumer’s mind when selecting which food products they should buy to achieve their “clean eating” goals.
For us at Manuka Doctor, we pride ourselves on our Mānuka honey, so the obvious concern here is, what do the consumers think they’re getting?
Two of the most common questions we get asked at Manuka Doctor HQ are “what is raw Manuka honey” and “is raw Manuka honey better for me?”
This blog explains the facts about Raw Manuka Honey and how Manuka Doctor’s range fits in.
What is Raw Manuka Honey?
Raw when it pertains to food, usually means that it has not been pasteurized or heat treated as part of the packing process as over-heating could damage some of the nutritional benefits of the food. However, whilst a lot of brands claim that their honey is “raw”, there is little to no regulations around what defines raw when it pertains to honey, which leads to multiple differing and misleading claims about what “raw” honey is. Furthermore, all honey needs to go through certain processes before it can be packed into a jar.
Is Manuka Doctor’s honey raw?
As mentioned, the lack of regulations and the myriad of misleading claims around the definition of “raw” honey was a growing concern for us, as we did not want to make unqualifiable claims on our labels. So, this set us on a path to research claims that we could make about our honey and processes, which met the standards of an independent certification body.
Our search resulted in finding an organization that provided certification which applied a systems-based approach to establish a standard which we felt would make our customers feel like that they were getting the best quality products.
After being audited, Manuka Doctor can proudly say that our company is certified as Raw by the International Clean Food Certification Body - https://cleanfoodcertified.org/.
Manuka Doctor is proud to announce that we are the only honey company globally to carry the “Certified R.A.W” Certification mark.
The C.L.E.A.N. & R.A.W. food certification was facilitated by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT trained Systems Biologist who graduated from the Department of Biological Engineering, formerly known as the Department of Food and Nutrition Science.
A Systems Based Approach
The consortium of industry leaders, with the leadership of Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, employed a multi-criterion, systems-based approach in arriving at the critical elements underlying the Certified R.A.W. standards. Three important principles emerged from this systems-based analysis. One principle was that the product must be Minimally Processed, second, the ingredients in the product must be Bioavailable, and the third was that it should be Safe.
What Is Certified R.A.W.?
For products to be Certified R.A.W.:
- They must be "Real." The Real element was captured by the criteria that the product must be 100% safe and must have all non-GMO ingredients.
- They must be "Alive." The notion of Alive was denoted by the level of bioavailability of the combination of ingredients in the product, determined using a bioinformatics approach currently enabled through the CytoSolve®
- They must be "Whole." The element of Whole was captured by two criteria:
- The level of organic ingredients
- The ANDI nutrient score
Is Manuka Doctor’s honey filtered?
Often when Raw Manuka is extracted from the beehive it may contain wax, propolis and other debris left in the hives by the bees.
At Manuka Doctor we filter our honey before it is packed to ensure that you receive the high quality, creamy honey that you expect, which is free from any foreign objects being in your jar.
What does creamed mean?
Creaming is a process of natural granulation of the honey. In its liquid form, the natural sugars in honey want to return to their solid state. This usually leads to unsightly (yet completely harmless) natural sugar crystals forming in the honey. To avoid these crystals from forming, we cream our honey.
Creamed honey is honey that has been processed to control crystallization, which gives the honey its smooth, spreadable consistency and lighter color than liquid honey of the same floral type. And it means that when you open your jar of honey it is the same taste in the USA as it was when packed 8,000 miles away in New Zealand.
Some Manuka Honey may be un-creamed and this will have a more grainy texture. Un-creamed Manuka honey will usually have larger sugar crystals and may be harder in consistency as a result.