Lead in maple syrup, originating from sap collection or syrup production, storage or packaging processes, is readily preventable with producer knowledge and use of good manufacturing practices. The ultimate goal is for all equipment and materials containing lead to be phased out of production.
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In recent years, some maple equipment manufacturers have sold air injection (AI) technology equipment for the production of maple syrup. For purposes of the recent industry review conducted by the International Maple Syrup Institute, air injection technology is defined as the forced introduction of air through a series of perforated pipes submerged in boiling sap in the front and/or back pan of a maple syrup evaporator.
Sap filters can remove residue or debris, which may inadvertently enter the sap through the collection system or during storage. Moreover, filtering may improve the storage potential of maple sap, improve sap quality especially during mid- to late-season and help in keeping the evaporator system clean.
This research project was established in the spring of 2002 to study the technique of lifting sap with simple “sap ladder” tubing structures. It was conducted during the production seasons of 2002 and 2003 in an operational setting at Wheelers Maple Products in Lanark County, Ontario.
In 1998, fifteen managed sugar bush blocks with 7% to 72% ice-induced crown damage were established in eastern Ontario. All blocks received dolomitic lime (calcium and magnesium) and phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) treatments in June 1999. Initial crown damage, fall root starch, sap production and sweetness were all measured. Syrup production was calculated.
A two pipe sap ladder consists of a structure of two vertical pipes connecting the lower and upper sections of mainline. It was initially thought that the sap would lift in the pipe on the vacuum side and that air would travel through the pipe on the bush side. Results were not as expected.
The purpose of this article is to shed some light on important and often observed differences between Sugar Maple and Black Maple, and to discuss the comparative sweetness of their sap.