Earnings by a leading company in New Zealand’s $100 million Manuka honey export industry have the potential to increase ten-fold through use of patented technology outlined at a conference in Auckland today.
Speakers from natural health science company Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd said the development had the potential to be “a 10-times multiplier” in what could be earned from each kilogram of Manuka honey.
A special session of the country’s annual NZBIO biotechnology showcase, heard from several speakers about Manuka honey, billed as “New Zealand’s foremost bioactive” product.
Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul told the conference his company’s next generation of Manuka honey products would use patented technology to deliver the active ingredient in forms more akin to pharmaceutical products than jars of honey.
Branded CycloPower, the products will use cyclodextrins, a circular compound made up of oligosaccharide molecules, which has the ability to enhance solubility, stabilise, control release rate, increase bio-availability and absorption.
Mr Paul said the Manuka Health CycloPower range would include products such as throat lozenges. Manuka honey’s active ingredient, the naturally-occuring compound Methylglyoxal, would be encapsulated within cyclodextrins as a powder.
The process eliminated the disadvantages of delivering the active ingredient in honey — such as acidity, taste and odour — and opened the way to a wide range of applications such as eye drops, nasal sprays, topical creams and oral capsules.
“CycloPower moves us a long way from a pot of honey,” he said, “improving bioactivity, easy of use and convenience, and with a presentation consistent with medical applications.”
“From a commercial perspective it increases the multiples earned per kilogram of honey by around 10 times.
“It opens up new frontiers, mid-way between natural health and pharmaceutical products.”
Mr Paul said Manuka Health was collaborating with international cyclodextrin expert Professor Keiji Terao, of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, who will also address the NZBIO conference.
Prof Terao is a director of the International Cyclodextrin Society and vice-president of the Japan Cyclodextrin Industrial Society.
Manuka Health research and development manager Dr Lynne Chepulis told the conference that antibacterial studies being carried out by Auckland University using reference strains of common bacteria had found significant differences in growth. Cyclopower showed significantly higher rates of bacterial inhibition than the raw Manuka honey.
Further studies are planned using different bacteria, including those responsible for sore throats, stomach ulcers, pneumonia and respiratory diseases.
Dr Chepulis said CycloPower-type compounds were already in use in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. They were recognised as safe by the United States Federal Drug Administration.
“Common uses are beauty creams with encapsulated Vitamin C, and in the angina supplement coenzyme Q10.”
Oral delivery of Manuka honey’s active ingredient Methyglyoxal opened up many possibilities to make better use of its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
“It is well-recognised that Manuka honey high in Methylglyoxyl is beneficial for health and wellness. The problem is in standardising the product and providing effective delivery methods.”
“CycloPower’s encapsulation within cyclodextrin compounds achieves that. For example, lozenges with small amounts of methylglyoxal could replace large doses of honey necessary to counter dilution in the gut.
“The formation of a Manuka CycloPower complex also allows the active ingredients in Manuka Honey to be delivered to the lower gut. The complex acts to stabilise the honey compounds and should provide a slower rate of Methylglyoxal release; thereby allowing it to work for longer.
“By standardising delivery we have more options,” Dr Chepulis said.
About Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd:
Manuka Health is a New Zealand-owned company committed to providing effective natural healthcare solutions utilising the unique healing properties of bioactive compounds found only in New Zealand flora and fauna.
By combining leading edge research with these naturally occurring compounds, we are able to deliver a range of products that restore balance and quality to people’s lives.
Manuka Health is the only company to declare the level of the active ingredient Methylglyoxal in its manuka honey products. The company markets MGO™ Manuka Honey certified under a testing regime developed by Professor Thomas Henle, the German scientist who discovered Methylglyoxal is responsible for Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties (http://www.mgomanuka.com).
The company provides a similar guarantee for Bio30™ Propolis, certifying products contain at least 30 mg/kg of bio-active compounds such as caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) (http://www.bio30.com). Manuka Health also produces other health-giving bee products including bee pollen, bee venom and royal jelly.
We are committed to producing effective natural health solutions that aid recovery from illness and infection and enhance the health and well being of people world wide. We facilitate an ongoing partnership between nature and science identifying and quantifying the bioactive compounds originating from New Zealand flora and fauna, and incorporating these into products that restore health and life balance.
Manuka Health has embraced the discovery by Professor Henle’s team at the Technical University of Dresden that Methylglyoxal is responsible for the stable anti-bacterial activity in Manuka honey. Manuka Health’s MGO™ Manuka Honey brand is available worldwide with guaranteed levels of Methylglyoxal, giving our customers confidence that they are getting the health benefits they are paying for.
Manuka Health is a world leader in Honey Health Science with global research and development capability. We are constantly discovering new ways in which nature can help us restore balance and improve our quality of life. Recent developments include the expansion of our health care range to include medically active foods and medical devices to assist with severe health issues and wound care.