As a regular consumer of Manuka honey, I have always been interested in exploring various brands. Recently, I decided to step aside from the traditional New Zealand brands and dive into an Australian option, as I’ve come to learn that Australia produces some exceptionally delectable Manuka honey due to its warmer climate and the abundance of Leptospermum tree varieties.
Perhaps intriguingly, my choice was influenced by my curiosity to challenge the claim that New Zealand is the sole and supreme provider of Manuka honey. Thus, I decided to give an Australian company, Capilano, a fair try. Today, I will share my unbiased experience with their MGO 300+ variety of Manuka honey.
Taste and Appearance
On initial tasting, I found the Capilano Manuka honey considerably sweeter than its competitors. Despite its sweetness, the honey was still very enjoyable and nicely accommodated on toast or as a sweetener for my morning brew. The texture was dense yet carried a slight runny feel.
However, its taste and appearance may be a tad different from what you expect of a typical Manuka honey. The honey lacks the familiar floral undertone that you would often associate with New Zealand Manuka. Furthermore, the honey’s coloration was much darker with crystal formations throughout, a deviation from the smooth, creamy appearance that is typical with Manuka honeys.
When it comes to manuka honey grading, I lean towards the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) grading system as it provides a more comprehensive overview of the honey’s quality. On the contrary, Capilano uses the MGO (Methylglyoxal) rating, which only measures the MGO levels prevalent in the honey. Capilano states that the honey I tested contains at least 300 mg/kg of MGO, with each batch being tested upon arrival from their beekeepers.
In addition, the company provides Manuka honey in a variety of MGO strengths such as MGO 30+, 60+, 100+, 300+, and 550+. Despite this, I still favor the UMF grading system as it gives a more holistic understanding of the honey’s authenticity and quality.
Purity and Authenticity
Most Australian Manuka honeys, like this Capilano brand, are of a multifloral nature, unlike some of their New Zealand counterparts that are usually monofloral. Moreover, this honey does not possess a UMF seal or a UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) membership given its Australian origin. Yet, the honey is recognized as a member of the Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA).
Before you jump into conclusions, I want to disclose that I have used this honey on my dog’s post-surgical bandages upon vet recommendation. The results were considerably impressive. But when it comes to its efficacy as a home remedy, I can’t say I’ve seen any noticeable difference.
Despite my issues with its grading system, Capilano still scored well in terms of its reputation. The brand maintains good reviews online and seems genuine. According to their official website, Capilano garners its honey from a network of local beekeeping families dotted across the country. It flaunts a range of other specialty honeys like “Aussie Bush”, “Aussie Coastal “and “Aussie Outback”, thereby painting a pretty congenial image of their brand.
The company manages to maintain a global reach, having a strong presence in multiple countries including the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. Despite being a global brand, the authenticity claims on their MGO rating might be a little suspect due to the lack of independent lab tests to validate them.
Packaging and Size
One of the first things you’ll notice about Capilano’s Manuka honey is the inventively designed upside-down squeeze bottle. Made out of recycled, BPA-free plastic, it aligns with sustainability goals while offering considerable portions. Available in 250g (or 8.8oz) and 340g (or 11.9oz) sizes, this honey comes in an easy-to-use, non-messy packaging that excels in convenience. Kids, in particular, seem captivated by the efficient dispensing system.
While the jar features an MGO label, the authenticity of the MGO claim may raise a few eyebrows due to reasons I mentioned earlier. A beneficial feature though is the printed production date on the lid, helping you keep track of freshness. Nonetheless, the lid’s construct could use some improvement—it tends to pop off during squeezing.
For those who fancy a traditional honey jar, Capilano also offers a version with a lid seal. Though not as innovative as the squeeze bottle, this format suits those who prefer a conventional honey experience.
Price and Value
Turning to finances, Capilano’s MGO 300+ Manuka honey is positioned as a more affordable option compared to many UMF-rated Manuka honey alternatives. The 250g jar is roughly priced at around $26.00 online. However, the costs might rise overseas, especially in the US, due to import expenses and Australia’s relatively high-priced domestic products.
While the lower price point is attractive, the question of quality regarding MGO strength and authenticity persists due to the absence of independent lab tests. If you’re looking for a honey that strictly focuses on MGO levels and doesn’t put much weight onto other Manuka markers like Leptosperin or HMF, Capilano fits the bill.
However, if you’re after the therapeutic merits of Manuka honey, bear in mind that experts often recommend raw Manuka honey from New Zealand with a certified UMF of at least 15+. Capilano’s Manuka honey serves excellently for daily use, but those seeking a potent therapeutic effect might need to look elsewhere.
In conclusion, Capilano’s Manuka Honey stands out with its sweetness, affordability, and novel packaging. While there are some questions around its authenticity and medicinal effectiveness due to the use of the MGO rating alone, it’s a delightful choice for those prioritizing flavor, value for money, and daily use.
If you lean more towards Manuka honey’s therapeutic aspects, you might find yourself leaning towards New Zealand brands with certified UMF ratings of 15+ or more. After balancing out the pros and cons, I’d give Capilano’s MGO 300+ Manuka Honey an overall rating of 5.4 out of 10.
Other Options to Consider
- New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey
- Comvita Manuka Honey
- Manukora Manuka Honey
- Mānuka Health Manuka Honey
- Steens Manuka Honey
- Egmont Manuka Honey
- Wedderspoon Manuka Honey