Most of us have heard of the benefits of Manuka Honey but what many of us don’t realise is that Manuka Honey is not always what it seems. The growing of Manuka honey in New Zealand has been so successful that they are now having the ‘Manuka Wars’ where crops have been sabotaged and valuable honey stolen so the correct labelling of this honey is now very important. Last year they made 1,700 tons and there is 10,000 tons on the market worldwide so there has obviously been some serious dilution and mislabelling. Dr Peter Brooks is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast and his research has centred on analytical and organic chemistries however recently the bioactivity of Manuka style honeys has caught his interest. New Zealand Manuka honey is from Leptospermum scoparium and the value of this honey has increased greatly due to its antibacterial wound healing properties. Australia has around 80 species of Leptospermum, some with higher activity than Manuka, and some with none. Peter will talk about the science behind the medicinal properties of Leptospermum honeys, and also elaborate on his work on developments for protecting producers and consumers from mislabelled honeys. He will explain the special numbered labelling system which will ensure that what is being sold has the strength and purity that is claimed on the bottle.
2015 U3A Brisbane Winter School, Brisbane, Australia 6-10 July 2015