Pure Maple Syrup is a natural, nutritious and delicious sweetener and a smart choice as a sweet topping or as a flavorful ingredient in baking and cooking. Maple Syrup has a delightful and flavorful maple bouquet and has varied taste intensities to suit different consumer preferences. Unlike many syrups and sugars, Maple Syrup is 100 percent natural and unrefined, retaining the inherent nutritional value of the sap obtained directly from the maple tree.
Pure Maple Syrup is a valuable source of mineral nutrients. Maple Syrup delivers more nutrition than all other common sweeteners and has one of the lowest calorie levels. Maple Syrup contains mineral nutrients and vitamins which are an essential part of the daily diet in higher levels than other sweeteners.
Native North Americans were the first to recognize Pure Maple Syrup as a source of nutrition and energy. Researchers have since documented that maple syrup has a higher nutritional value than all other common sweeteners.
In addition to its remarkable nutritional content, researchers have documented that Maple Syrup contains numerous phenolic compounds, commonly found in plants and in agricultural products such as berries, tea, red wine and flax seed. Some of these compounds may benefit human health in significant ways. For example, Researchers have documented the natural presence of abscisic acid (ABA) in Maple Syrup, a compound thought to stimulate insulin release by the pancreas. Use of Pure Maple Syrup as an alternative to refined sugar can also add to the antioxidant content of the diet, similar to replacing refined grains with whole grains. With its wholesome, natural flavor, Pure Maple Syrup has one of the lowest calorie levels of common sweeteners. Maple Syrup is also a natural product with no additives or preservatives.
Maple sap is concentrated by heat to develop a grade of syrup with a characteristic color and flavor. The most important factor affecting syrup volume production is sap sugar concentration. All sugar makers are aware of the Jones’ Rule of 86: if the sap concentration of sugar is 1%, then 86 gallons (391 liters) of sap are needed to make one gallon (4.55 liters) of syrup. For example, at 2% sap sweetness, only 43 gallons (162 liters) are needed to make a gallon (4.55 liters) of syrup. The sweeter the sap, the more volume of syrup can be produced and less fuel and time will be necessary for sap processing. Sugarbush management to increase the average sugar content of the sugarbush pays off directly to the producer in savings elsewhere.
All maple syrup is required to be finished to the same minimum density-66.0° Brix at 68°F (Federal US and Canadian law). Some states, like Vermont, require higher density (66.0° Brix at 60°F). If syrup is too thin, it spoils quickly during storage. If syrup is too thick, sucrose crystals slowly precipitate and settle to the bottom of the container. Accordingly the producer loses profit due to decreased volume, while the consumer does not get full value of the sugar produced.
Information on this page was taken from the International Maple Syrup Institute,,AndersonsMapleSyrup.com, & The North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual, 2nd Ed., prodced by Ohio State Univ. Extension.in cooperation with the North American Maple Syrup Council.