What does the TA rating of honey mean?

What does the TA rating of honey mean?

Honey. It’s super delicious, sticky, sweet and irresistible. But not all honey is made equal. Cheaper honeys that you can buy from mainstream shops and supermarkets in squeezy bottles or glass jars for a few pounds may contain sugar syrups and flavour enhancers.  

On the other hand, luxury honeys, like our Necta & Hive Red Gum and Jarrah honeys are known as active, healing honeys due to the active antimicrobial properties they naturally contain. This kind of activity is known as Total Activity, or TA, and is a measure of how powerful these properties are. The higher the TA, the more potent the healing power of the honey. 

But what exactly does this mean? Here, we’re going to discuss TA and the powerful healing properties of active honey.  

Total Activity can be thought of as scale of effectiveness at killing bacteria and other microorganisms. Active honeys contain natural enzymes that provide this antimicrobial power, in the case of Western Australian honeys such as Jarrah and Red Gum, this is down to an enzyme called glucose oxidase which is added to the honey by the bees that produce it.  

Glucose oxidase reacts with the glucose (sugar) in honey and the oxygen in the water component of honey to produce a substance called hydrogen peroxide. This is different to Manuka honey, which contains a substance called methylglyoxal (or MGO) which gives it a similar active property, measured in Unique Manuka Factors, or UMFs. Manuka honey is considered a non-peroxide honey and studies have shown that it isn’t as powerful as Jarrah at helping to manage infections.  

The power of the antimicrobial activity of Jarrah honey (and Red Gum) can be applied in many settings. Hydrogen peroxide is a potent antibacterial agent that’s gentle on human skin and the gut. So it can be used to help manage coughs and colds, and in wound dressings and burns management. In wounds, the glucose oxidase enzyme reacts with moisture, effectively creating hydrogen peroxide and therefore helping to sterilise the wound.  

At Necta & Hive, we’re so proud of our healing honeys that we publish the independent lab testing reports that confirm the TA of all our honeys. That way, you can rest assured that the honey you’re buying is exactly what you would expect it to be.  

Necta & Hive Red Gum 100% Unpasteurised Honeycomb 30+ TA has one of the highest TA ratings of all the honeys on the market. If you prefer to eat your honey without honeycomb (we love both!), then Necta & Hive Jarrah 100% Unpasteurised Honey 22+ TA also ranks highly amongst active honeys.  

Jarrah honey has a taste reminiscent of caramel and brown sugar whilst Red Gum honey has a smooth, mild honey flavour and is less aromatic than Jarrah honey. Both are entirely satisfying and have many, many health benefits. Which one will you choose?