honey’s anti-microbial strength is measured by the term “Total Activity (TA)”. The TA is a bacteria killing scale; the higher the TA the greater the antimicrobial strength. The anti-bacterial activity of honey is derived via natural enzymes and chemicals in the honey that originate from the flower that the nectar has been collected from.
Any honey with a TA of greater than 10+ may have beneficial antimicrobial properties, and these properties are more effective as the TA level increases. Note that the UMF value on Manuka honey is essentially the same as a TA value, but the antimicrobial activity is generated by different chemical processes.
Total Activity is the combination of Peroxide Activity (PA) and Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA). In Jarrah honey, nearly all of the Activity is PA, and results from a reaction between an enzyme placed in the honey by the bees called Glucose Oxidase and glucose. This reaction, which starts when the honey is diluted, results in the gradual production of a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent when operating in conjunction with honey’s other antiseptic properties, but is gentle on human tissue and the digestive system.
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