Australia’s Manuka Honey MGO Ratings Explained

MGO to NPA conversion guide

The “Activity Rating” of honey has been developed over many years and used by researchers and the “active manuka honey” industry to define the strength of Leptospermum honey for medicinal and therapeutic use.

Essentially the higher the MGO (Methylglyoxal) or NPA (Non-Peroxide Activity) component of the honey tested, the greater the medicinal effect.

The NPA method and standard were first used by Professor Peter Molan from Waikato University, New Zealand to characterise the unknown compound that was responsible for the additional antibacterial activity of manuka honey. More recently the discovery of MGO (Methylglyoxal), the exact compound that was responsible for the non-peroxide activity of Manuka Honey, has led to an alternative rating system, using MGO as the marker of antibacterial strength and activity.  Both these two identification methods (NPA and MGO) are used by different laboratories as standards to quantify the strength of Leptospermum honey.

The chart below shows the direct comparison of NPA to MGO and is based on current research by  Prof. Merilyn Manley- Harris, Waikato University, New Zealand and Dr. Peter Brooks, Sunshine Coast University, Queensland, Australia.

MGO NPA Conversion Table NEW


MGO honey and Australia’s Manuka Bioactive Honey, also known as Active Jellybush Honey are scientifically proven to have potent medicinal qualities.

Our MGO Honey is harvested from these flowers

MGO Honey from Australia’s Manuka

Each year MGO Honey scientists and researchers from around the world are understanding how medical honey has such potent and beneficial healing properties. They have found that Manuka Honey and Active Jellybush Honey produced from the Australian Leptospermum group of plants has unique compounds responsible for its natural antibacterial properties and its rapid wound healing effects. 

MGO bioactive Honey from the Leptospermum group of plants has been proven by scientists to effectively control pathogenic bacteria, reduce inflammation and substantially aid wound recovery. This honey has also been identified for its positive effects on many skin conditions as well as having benefits when taken internally.

Scientists have identified the mechanisms behind this unique honeys antibacterial qualities and are starting to unravel why medical honey assists and speeds up the process of wound healing.

One such scientist, Professor Peter Molan, at the Honey Research Unit at Waikato University in New Zealand had studied the therapeutic benefits of Manuka honey for over two decades. Professor Molan was instrumental in designing a grading system for honey potency and his research proved that at least two “active” components exist in Leptospermum honey.

First, hydrogen peroxide is naturally released due to the action of the enzyme glucose oxidase and second, a naturally occurring phytochemical called methylglyoxal, MGO, dramatically enhances the effect of the naturally released hydrogen peroxide. Professor Molans’ evidence suggests that these two processes work together with a synergistic action making the beneficial effect greater than their individual actions.

For thousands of years, honey has been used by indigenous people not only for nutrition but also for its curative and health-giving properties. And today, with consumers demanding natural alternatives for their personal and health care needs, bioactive MGO Manuka and Jellybush honey offers just such an alternative for improved digestion, wound care and many other uses.