26 Oct 2012

Study shows flaws in mono-floral honey claims

8:30 pm on 26 October 2012

A study has indicated that many New Zealand honey products claimed to be be mono-floral are not.

The study, conducted by Lincoln University, tested 64 New Zealand honeys labelled as coming from one type of plant.

It showed 29 samples did not contain the minimum pollen percentage required from one plant to allow it to be marketed as mono-floral.

John Smart from the company Airborne Honey says the study is worrying and the industry needs to establish an independent national standard.

He says the Bee Products Standards Council is in the process of identifying standards for all mono-floral products except manuka honey.

Mr Smart says a standard for manuka honey is important because the entire export industry is being put at risk.

Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association general manager John Rawcliffe says the research uses a pollen analysis, rather than a chemical analysis, to determine a product's constituents.

He says there is a lot of research to show that pollen analysis is not a good way to determine whether a product is manuka honey, and good independent science is needed.

A seminar for the honey industry is being held in Auckland early next month to discuss independent testing.