Health, Wealth and Honey
A NZ health company has teamed up with a German university to promote the use of manuka honey products to heal wounds, treat stomach and skin problems and, potentially, to help in the fight against cancer. Researchers at the Technical University of Dresden have discovered the compound responsible for manuka honey’s anti-bacterial properties (methylglyoxal) and have enlisted the help of Te Awamutu-based Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd to measure and certify the levels of the compound in its own products and those of rival companies. “We have known for some time that manuka honey has this property,” said Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul. “The term Unique Manuka Factor is used to describe this honey’s consistently reliable anti-bacterial effect and UMF has been trademarked by the Active Manuka Honey Association. But we haven’t known until the German discovery what the compound is that is responsible.” Manuka Health expects to dramatically increase its current annual turnover of NZ$5 million as a result of its new partnership.