Techniques used to produce maple syrup have considerably evolved over the last decades making them more efficient and economically profitable. However, these advances must respect composition and quality standards as well as authenticity of maple products. Recently, a new and improved high vacuum technology has been made available to producers to achieve higher sap yields. The aim of the present study was therefore to evaluate the effect of this new system on the yield of sap and on the sap and syrup chemical composition.
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Buddy maple syrup is characterized by an unpleasant cabbage?like flavor occurring generally toward the end of the sap harvest season. Occurrence of buddy off?flavor leads to a decrease in syrup value and economic loss for the industry. It is therefore relevant to characterize the off?flavor in order to apply corrective treatments. HS?SPME combined with GC/MS was applied to analyze volatile aroma compounds in buddy maple syrup samples. Two novel volatile sulfur compounds were found in maple syrup: dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) and dimethyl trisulfide. A 3?alternative forced choice in ascending concentration of different buddy syrups diluted in good quality syrup was conducted in triplicate to assess buddy syrup concentration thresholds leading to detection and recognition of the off?flavor by 16 panelists while monitoring volatile aroma compounds in diluted samples. Results showed that DMDS was associated with the flavor defect. The recognition threshold concentration of buddy syrup varies depending on the syrup sample and the off?flavor can be detected in syrups containing very low DMDS content. Application of a continuous heat treatment on buddy syrups for 2 hr at 104.5 ¡C led to a removal of the buddy off?flavor as well as a significant reduction in DMDS content.
Ropiness of maple syrup is a phenomenon that can occur several times in the season. The alteration known as ÒropinessÓ is characterized by a viscous, thick, slimy/jelly-like texture which, although not noticeably altering the taste, renders the product unpleasant in terms of mouthfeel. The aim of this study was to estimate the economic impact of production of ropy maple syrup in the region of Quebec, to more deeply identify and characterize bacteria associated to this type of quality defect, and to study the composition of Polysaccharides found in stringy maple syrup.