26 Sep 2013

Lab equipment to help honey testing

1:48 pm on 26 September 2013

Leading manuka honey marketer Comvita says new laboratory equipment it is installing will be more than enough to meet any future definition and labelling requirements for the honey.

The Primary Industries Ministry is developing voluntary guidelines to counter false labelling complaints about New Zealand's most valuable honey variety while it considers whether regulations are needed.

Comvita, which specialises in natural health and beauty products, is spending another $1 million on laboratory equipment to expand its testing and research facilities for manuka honey.

Comvita chief operating officer Scott Coulter says it will provide the highest level of testing to underpin any new standards.

He says one of the new pieces of equipment will help the company test for Unique Manuka Factor(UMF) in a factory environment.

The other provides a "fingerprint" of the honey, giving a detailed picture of where it is from and what it is made up of.