Spotlight on Research: Sylvester Obeng-Darko discusses DHA production in Leptospermum species

Sylvester Obeng-Darko, a PhD student with the CRC for Honey Bee Products, discusses his research on DHA production and Leptospermum nectar.

Manuka honey’s reputation is based on the ingredient methylglyoxal (MGO). The precursor of MGO is dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is found in the nectar of certain plants within the Leptospermum genus. When the honey bee uses this DHA nectar to make honey, the DHA converts to MGO over time. This unusual ingredient augments the honey’s antibacterial properties, hence the reputation of Manuka honey.

Sylvester is investigating how and why DHA is formed in the nectar of specific plants since it is an unusual ingredient for plants to synthesise.

Watch Sylvester discuss his research below.

Learn more about Sylvester here.