Tutin is a toxic compound found in some honey, where bees have had access to the NZ native Tutu plant (Coriara genus).  After a number of people were hospitalised after eating honey containing Tutin, the Ministry for Primary Industries brought in food safety regulations requiring honey to be tested for Tutin. 

Toxic honey can be produced during the summer if bees collect honeydew secreted by passion vine hopper insects that are feeding on the sap of Tutu plants.  MPI have established a maximum residue level (MRL) of 0.7 mg/kg of tutin in honey to protect people eating honey, and testing of honey produced in many areas of NZ is required before honey is able to be sold.

Analytica has developed a sensitive method for testing honey for tutin, which can be used to test for Tutin in individual or composite samples.  Analytica is approved by MPI to carry out this testing.

When individual samples are tested, Tutin concentration is reported to a detection limit of 0.01 mg/kg.

For composite testing, individual samples are submitted to the laboratory, and up to 10 of these individual samples are carefully combined into a single composite sample for analysis.  The Tutin concentration in the composite sample will identify that either all individual samples in the composite will be below the MRL of 0.7 mg/kg, or that at least one of the samples in the composite is likely to have a concentration of Tutin that is above the MRL of 0.7 mg/kg.  If a composite sample has a high Tutin result, further testing of the individual samples needs to be done to identify which of them are above the MRL.

This method can be used in all honey types.  It can also be used in comb, liquid, and creamed honey.

How does Analytica conduct the test

Following dilution in water and extraction, the honey sample is analysed for tutin residue using Liquid Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).


Tutin is an ISO 17025 and MPI accredited test.

Pricing and Turnaround Time

Please contact Analytica for current pricing and TATs on 07 974 4740 or at sales@analytica.co.nz 

Why Use Analytica?

Analytica have a fast turnaround time and competitive price. Analytica are able to carry out a number of tests on your honey, which means you can send in one sample and let us take care of the rest.

How to take and submit a sample

How to take and submit a sample

Approximately 50g of sample should be taken from a well-mixed, homogenous honey drum and placed in a clean container with a lid.  Samples should not contain wax.

Download and complete our Analysis Request Form either in PDF format or as a Word document, and send it along with your samples to:

Analytica Laboratories Ltd
Ruakura Research Centre
10 Bisley Road,
Hamilton 3240 
New Zealand

Analysis Request Form | PDF

Analysis Request Form | WORD

On the form there are two separate columns for individual and composite testing. Please indicate the preferred groups of honey samples for composite testing – no indication will assume groups of 10. Please note that each new composite group costs $80.00 with $10 per sample added.

Don’t forget to label each sample container with a unique name or code, matching the Sample Identification that you write on the Analysis Request Form. We will invoice you when we report your results. 

Please email the Sample Reception team at sample.receipt@analytica.co.nz if you are sending more than 40 samples to make the most of our testing prices and turnaround times.

To send samples from overseas, please see our instructions and import permits.

*For some ideas on collecting a representative honey sample, have a look at this article published in 'The New Zealand BeeKeeper'.

Analytica Laboratories

P: +64 7 974 4740
E: sales@analytica.co.nz

Ruakura Research Centre,
10 Bisley Road, Private Bag 3123,
Hamilton 3214
New Zealand

IANZ Accredited Laboratory

Copyright 2018 Analytica Laboratories Limited

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