|Authors||McDonald, C.M., Keeling, S.E., Brewer, M.J. and Hathaway, S.|
|Publication details||npj Science of Food 2(9).|
Ensuring the authenticity of food is a rapidly emerging issue, especially in regard to high-value products that are marketed through increasingly complex global food chains. With the ever-increasing potential for mislabeling, fraud and adulteration, governments are increasingly having to invest in, and assure, the authenticity of foods in international trade. This is particularly the case for manuka honey, an iconic New Zealand food product. We show how the authenticity of a specific type of honey can be determined using a combination of chemicals derived from nectar and DNA derived from pollen. We employ an inter-disciplinary approach to evaluate a selection of authenticity markers, followed by classification modelling to produce criteria that consistently identify manuka honey from New Zealand. The outcome of our work provides robust identification criteria that can be applied in a regulatory setting to authenticate a high-value natural food. Our approach can transfer to other foods where assurance of authenticity must take into account a high level of natural variability.