Processing maple syrup into value-added products can increase product diversity, sales and producer profits. When considering the variety of potential value-added products, such as salad dressings, coated nuts, seasoning products, and sauces, it is important to evaluate the ingredients for their allergen risk potential and add the proper allergen statements to food product labels. This will ensure that you produce quality products and protect potentially susceptible consumers.
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Consumer interest in local products and functional beverages has increased markedly in recent years. Several beverages composed primarily of maple sap are currently available in the marketplace. These products are sold at ambient temperature, and are considered shelf stable. Prior investigation has demonstrated the need for specialized processing equipment in order to achieve shelf stability of maple sap beverages. The current study investigated the feasibility of producing a refrigerated beverage without the use of commercial processing equipment for small businesses.
In order for sugarmakers to take advantage of the newfound interest in maple sap beverages, processes must be developed that would allow small scale producers to process and package maple sap safely, efficiently, and economically. We investigated several methods that might be employed for seasonal markets during the harvest season of January-April.
Occasionally, maple syrup becomes contaminated with floating masses or surface mold. Conventional practices have been to discard obvious mold growths, re-boil and then consume the syrup. This practice may be risky, especially with the increasing number of food borne illness outbreaks with other food products and the resulting negative publicity surrounding these outbreaks.
An increasing number of maple syrup samples containing floating masses or surface mold have arrived at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Conventional practices have been to discard obvious mold growths, reboil and consume the syrup. This practice may be risky, especially with the increasing number of food borne illness outbreaks with other food products.