Sunil Pinnamaneni

Sunil is one of the founding partners of Finn & Roy Enterprises Limited, which is the holding group of Zealandia Honey Limited, The Three Traders Limited and The Experiment Company Limited.

Sunil started Zealandia Honey with a vision to showcase to the world that Manuka Honey is more than the MGO/ UMF rating. Manuka honey and other Native New Zealand honeys have many bioactive components and multiple benefits that are relatively unknown to people globally. To achieve this ambitious vision, he needed cutting edge research to cast light on Manuka Honey in a way no other company has done. Thus, The Experiment Company Ltd was born with a vision to conduct research and development across all honeys of New Zealand and to scale up research to commercial operations.

Sunil has an experience of over a decade working as a technical expert in the honey industry. He has developed many test methods and was the first in NZ to achieve ISO17025 certification for Diastase, EU market, 2010, Propolis phenolic acids and BIO, 2011 and American Foulbrood, 2012 for Manuka Honey export requirements.

In his brief stunt with AgriTesting Laboratories, Sunil and his team were also the first to achieve ISO17025 for the most economical and eco-friendly 3in1 test for MGO, DHA, HMF and Diastase from a single extraction step.

Sunil has been involved in active honey research since 2011, during which time he has been involved in a number of projects including, creating a blending model to optimize batch making of honey and investigating the correlation between diastase and polyphenols in honey. Sunil’s current work is on Active polyphenols in honey, New Zealand produce and natural beverages.

He is also coordinating and supervising, Dr.Swapna and her team with the research on identifying key markers in Kanuka, Rewarewa, Kamahi, Tawari and Clover honeys. He is also liaising and coordinating research with Dr.Megan from University of Waikato on Diastase in New Zealand honeys.

Dr. Swapna Gannabathula

Dr. Swapna is under contract with The Experiment as a full time employee. Dr. Swapna Gannabathula has a proven track record for her work on identifying essential components in (Manuka) honey. She has been involved in multiple research projects that were patented at the intellectual property office of New Zealand. Namely;

Patent 599435: Immunostimulatory compositions and methods of manufacture. More specifically, the compositions includes a combination of arabinogalactan 5 protein (AGP)compounds, particularly those derived from honey or with similar activity to honey derived AGP’s along with apisimin proteins, peptides or fragments thereof, particularly those derived from royal jelly or with similar activity to royal jelly derived apisimin.

Patent 587642: Use of a composition in the manufacture of a medicament to inhibit yeast growth (wherein the yeast is from the genus Candida particularly a strain of Candida albicans), wherein the composition includes:a therapeutically effective amount of lactoferrin; anda therapeutically effective amount of either: (a) at least one active honey; or (b) at least one bioactive fraction of active honey wherein the monosaccharides of the honey have been removed; or (c) at least one honey analogue containing monosaccharides, water and either or both of DHA and MGO and having at least one further characteristic being: a pH of 3.0 to 5.0; hydrogen peroxide; phenolics characteristic of active honeys; bee defensins; catalase enzyme; a water activity less than 0.7; or (d) combinations of the honey, the honey fraction and the honey analogue,wherein “active honey” refers to a honey with an antimicrobial activity in the absence of hydrogen peroxide referred to interchangeably as a honey containing UMF activity, MGO activity or containing DHA compound.

Patent 585118: A honey isolate containing type II arabinogalactan (AG), wherein the average molecular weight of the AG is 40,000 to 1,100,000 is disclosed, wherein the ratio of arabinose to galactose in the honey isolate may range from 0.1 to 2.0 parts arabinose to 1.0 parts galactose. Further disclosed is a method of producing a honey based immune-stimulatory composition by the steps of: (a) testing a series of honey batches for the presence of type II AG compounds; (b) selecting and blending together honeys based on the test results; and (c) isolating type II AG compounds from the honey and then processing the honey by steps selected from filtration, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, solvent extraction, precipitation, or combinations thereof and collecting a high molecular weight isolate from the processing step to form a honey blend with type II AG levels greater than 5 microgram/gram. The disclosure also relates to the use of a honey or a honey analogue based composition with type II AG compounds removed from the honey or a honey analogue in the manufacture of a topical formulation for treatment of a recalcitrant skin condition on a topical body area, a sensitive skin condition on a topical body area.

She is currently a research associate at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) for 2 PhD students, and co-supervises other PhD students.

Dr. Megan Grainger

Dr Megan Grainger is currently employed at The University of Waikato as an Analytical and Environmental Chemistry lecturer. Her current research focuses on includes trace element analysis of honey, bees, pollen and eels, rapid maturation of whiskey and novel compound isolation, among other food and environmental related research.

Dr Grainger has been involved in honey research since 2006, during which time she has been involved in a number of research projects including, isolating and characterising methylglyoxal, creating a forecasting model to predict the maximum methylglyoxal concentration of an immature honey and investigating affect that methylglyoxal has on the C4 sugar adulteration test.

Prior to her current role as an academic, Dr Grainger worked in a commercial analytical laboratory and held a number of roles during this time (Technologist, Team leader and Operations Manager). She is a technical auditor for IANZ and also a member of the IANZ professional advisory committee.

She is currently chief supervisor for 1 PhD student and 4 MSc students, and co-supervises 6 other PhD students (3 of which are interdisciplinary). She has also supervised 7 summer research student.