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What About Pure Maple Syrup?

Pure maple syrup has been a Canadian tradition for generations, and its popularity has grown with today's trend toward a healthier, nutritious diet. Pure Maple syrup contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals than honey. As one of the wonders of the world, this liquid gold, with its characteristic earthy sweet taste is an excellent alternative to white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, or corn syrup.

Our Pure maple syrup is a natural product with no additives, chemicals, preservatives or coloring agents. The process of creating our pure maple syrup begins with tapping (piercing) the tree, which allows the sap to run out freely. In the springtime, when the temperatures warm up, there is water in the trunk and roots. The heat promotes the expansion of this water and creates pressure inside the tree. The sugar maple then transforms starch, built up during the tree’s growth, into sugar.

The switch between cold nights, where temperatures fall below zero, and days where temperatures rise above zero, favours the flow of sap which is transported through our modern and cost effective tubing system to tap the trees, which is connected to the sugar stations.The sap is collected and pumped to our sugar house where it is concentrated using reverse osmosis equipment that separates sugar and water molecules. The concentrated sap is then boiled in our large evaporators to become pure maple syrup.

 

Pure maple syrup is sweet - and we're not just talking about flavor. Pure maple syrup, as an excellent source of manganese, a good source of zinc, amino acids, proteins, organic acids and vitamins in variable quantities, can also be sweet for your health. The trace mineral manganese is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses.

For example, the key oxidative, which disarms free radicals requires manganese. 60ml of pure maple syrup supplies 100% of the daily value for this very important trace mineral. Pure maple syrup is a good sweetner to use if you are trying to protect the health of your heart. The zinc supplied by pure maple syrup, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, has other functions that can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis.

Additionally, studies have found that in adults deficient in manganese, the other trace mineral amply supplied in pure maple syrup, the level of HDL (the good cholesterol) is decreased. Zinc and Manganese are also important allies in the immune system. Many types of immune cells appear to depend upon zinc for optional function. Particularly in children, researchers have studied the effects of zinc deficiency (and zinc supplementation) on their immune response and their number of white blood cells. In addition to the role played by zinc, the manganese in pure maple syrup is important since, as a component of the antioxidant SOD, it helps lessen inflammation, thus supporting healing.

Also, real healthy men use pure maple syrup. Pure maple syrup may help to support reproductive health and provides special benefits for men. Zinc is concentrated more highly in the prostate than in any other human tissue, and low levels of zinc is a mineral in this gland relate to a higher risk for prostate cancer. In fact, zinc is a mineral used therapeutically by healthcare practitioners to help reduce prostate size. Manganese may also play a role in supporting men's health since, as a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, it also participates in the production of sex hormones, thus helping to maintain reproductive health.

 

It takes 40 liters of maple water to obtain one liter of maple syrup. Maple syrup is defined its sugar: 66 degrees Brix which represents the sugar density. (The Brix degree is the weight in grams of dry substance contained in 100 grams of a solution in distilled water).



Making Maple Terroir Pure Maple Syrup

The clear sap has a 2 to 3 percent sugar content on the average, although some trees can produce up to 6 percent sugar content. Production can be unpredictable, depending on the tree itself and weather patterns. The rest is water which must be removed to concentrate the sweetness into syrup. In the old days, this was done by boiling to evaporate the water or freezing (the water rises to the top and freezes while the sweet, concentrated syrup sinks to the bottom). Today's innovations include reverse osmosis for removal of the majority of the water before boiling, but most pure maple syrup is still made by simply boiling the water out by use of an evaporator. The resulting concentrated syrup is filtered to remove impurities.

The sap becomes syrup when it reaches 7 to 7.1 degrees above the boiling point of water. Since the boiling point of water varies with elevation, the actual benchmark temperature will vary depending on the location of the sugarmaking establishment. Experienced sugarmakers can tell by how the syrup sheets or aprons off the paddle. Specific density is also a requirement and is measured with a hydrometer. The syrup must reach standard density of 66.5 to 66.7 degrees Brix the scale used by sugarmakers to measure the percentage of sugar in the syrup. Too low a density produces a thin, runny syrup which is susceptible to fermentation and souring, while syrup with a higher density runs the risk of crystallizing during storage. It takes approximately 36 gallons of maple tree sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Other maple products include maple sugar, maple honey (thicker than syrup), and maple cream (almost as thick as peanut butter) or maple butter (thick and spreadable).

 

Real Pure Maple Syrup (Beware of imitations!)

You'll find many imitation or maple-flavored products on the market, but the real thing is worth the higher pricetag. By definition, pure maple syrup is syrup made by the evaporation of maple sap or by the solution of maple sugar, and contains not more than approximately 33 to 35 percent water. Imitation maple syrup, usually sold as pancake syrup, must be labeled and generally is made of mostly corn syrup with 2 or 3 percent of pure maple syrup. Some imitations may contain only artificial maple extract. Pure maple syrup is three times as sweet as regular table sugar, whereas maple sugar is twice as sweet. Also, watch out for certain brands that have been flagged due to alterations of the structure of maple syrup.

 

Nutrition and science of maple syrup

Pure, natural and even more!

Sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar and maple syrup: all the same? Not exactly! Even though all four are sugaring agents, maple syrup contains more vitamins and minerals then the other three.

Maple syrup contains significant quantities of zinc, iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium and compounds found in B Complex vitamins mostly thiamine. Also, 60 milliliters of maple syrup (1/4 cup) provide 100% of the daily recommended intake in manganese, 37% of the intake in riboflavin and 18% of the intake in zinc. But that’s not all ! Recent studies report that sap contains polyphenolic compounds (phenolic and flavonoid acids) that have important antioxidant and organoleptic poperties.With this wide nutrition range and its smooth sweet aroma, maple syrup adds value to your meals … nutritional value!

 

Nutritional value

* Per 60 ml
(¼ cup, en % DV1)

Maple Syrup

Honey

White Sugar

Brown Sugar

Manganese

100

3

0

9

Riboflavin

37

2

1

0

Zinc

18

2

0

1

Magnesium

7

1

0

7

Calcium

5

0

0

5

Potassium

5

1

0

6

Calories

217

261

196

211

1 DV : Daily value is the intake of a given nutrient deemed as to fulfill the daily nutritional needs of most individuals.

 

Element

Quantity
(50 ml)

Measurement
Unit

Percentage of daily
intake recommended

Energy

173

Calories

-

Proteins

0

grams

-

Fat

0

grams

-

Carbohydrates

43

grams

-

Potassium

137

mg

3%

Calcium

43

mg

4%

Iron

0,7

mg

9%

Zinc

2,7

mg

25%

Magnesium

6,7

mg

2%

Thiamine

0,1

mg

8%

Riboflavine

0,03

mg

2%

Source: Health Canada, Canadian file on nutritional elements, 2001

 

Classification  

There exists two types of classification for maple syrup.  The classification of the federal Government and that of the Provincial Government.  The Quebec sugar makers have the choice to conform to one or another of the regulations in force.

 

Federal Classification

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) controls the wholesomeness and quality of Canadian maple products and is responsible for the “Federal” classification of maple syrup.  This classification has three categories of syrup.

The categories are:

Canada No. 1 (extra clear, clear, medium)

Canada No. 2 (amber)

Canada No. 3 (dark)

 

Provincial Classification

The Quebec Government promulgated a regulation regarding the maple products which establishes 5 classes of color for maple syrup according to its clarity, its density and the characteristic taste of maple, assuring that the product respects all the standards of quality.

This classification is obtained by determining the level of transmission of light of the maple syrup.  The degree of transmission of light of the maple syrup is obtained by means of the optic method.  This analysis technique requires a spectrophotometer.

 

% of Transmittance

Quebec

75.0 to 100

Extra Clear

60.5 to 74.9

Clear

44.0 to 60.4

Medium

27.0 to 43.9

Amber

Less than 27.0

Dark

 

Grading

Maple Syrup is divided, for commercial purposes, into five different grades of color. Color is one of the chief factors in grading maple syrup. The lighter the syrup, usually the more delicately flavored."

"Government grading stipulates that the syrup be maple-sap, free from foreign material, and of a density of 66 degrees Brix hydrometer reading (66% sugar). It should possess a characteristic maple flavor, should be clean, free from fermentation, and free from damage caused by scorching, buddiness, any objectionable flavor or odor, or any other means."

 

Storage of Pure Maple syrup

Pure maple syrup should be kept in a cool, dark place for up to three years until opened and then refrigerated after opening where it will last for at least one year. Since pure maple syrup will not freeze if properly made, the freezer is a good place to store it almost indefinitely. Improperly stored maple syrup can grow harmful moldy toxins, in which case you must toss it out. Bring the syrup to room temperature or warm it before serving. The microwave works well for warming maple syrup. Use a microwave-safe container and heat on high from 30 to 60 seconds per 1/2 cup, depending on how cold it is and the power level of your microwave.

If you're planning on using pure maple syrup in place of sugar in a baked recipe, use 3/4 cup pure maple syrup for 1 cup of granulated sugar and reduce the dominant liquid in the recipe by 3 Tablespoons for each cup of maple syrup used. Keep in mind that using maple syrup in place of sugar will give a brownish tinge and also cause the baked goods to brown more quickly. For substitution of maple syrup in general cooking, use three-fourths the amount of maple syrup as sugar. When substituting maple syrup for honey, use a one to one ratio.

 

Cooking with Pure Maple Syrup

Although most are familiar with maple syrup as a topper for pancakes, ice cream, donghnuts, yogurt or in sweet desserts, it also has other applications in savory dishes and works particularly well with vegetables. For example, believe it or not, pure maple syrup can be used as a dip for dill pickles. Yes, dill pickles! Proponents of this intriguing combination say the sweet and sour tastes compliment each other. Give it a try!

 

Conservation

Before it is opened, a maple syrup can or a vacuum-tight bottle can be stored at room temperature for 3 years minimum.  Once opened it should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent molding which will keep for 1 year minimum.

 


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