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The leaves on the trees are still mostly green and few have fallen. Does this indicate anything for the upcoming sugar season?

A Slow Boil: Marketing’s Long Game

A common marketing mistake is starting with the tools: social media, labels, or logos. Instead, marketing starts with: the business story, business goals, and identifying customers.

Chemical and microbial characterization of ropy maple sap and syrup

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.

Ropy Maple syrup

Analysis of research into causes of ropy syrup and prevention.

Does FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule Apply to your Maple Operation?

Some maple operations will have compliance requirements under the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA. Determining where or if your operation falls under this rule is complicated, so our UNH Extension FSMA team has created an online tool that asks you a series of questions and based on your answers tells you where you most likely fall under the rule.

A systems biology approach to explore the impact of maple tree dormancy release on sap variation and maple syrup quality

Maple sap is a complex nutrient matrix collected during spring to produce maple syrup. The characteristics of sap change over the production period and its composition directly impacts syrup quality. This variability could in part be attributed to changes in tree metabolism following dormancy release, but little is known about these changes in deciduous trees. Therefore, understanding the variation in sap composition associated with dormancy release could help pinpoint the causes of some defects in maple syrup. In particular, a defect known as ÒbuddyÓ, is an increasing concern for the industry. This off-flavor appears around the time of bud break, hence its name. To investigate sap variation related to bud break and the buddy defect, we monitored sap variation with respect to a dormancy release index (Sbb) and syrup quality. First, we looked at variation in amino acid content during this period. We observed a shift in amino acid relative proportions associated with dormancy release and found that most of them increase rapidly near the point of bud break, correlating with changes in syrup quality. Second, we identified biological processes that respond to variation in maple sap by performing a competition assay using the barcoded Saccharomyces cerevisiae prototroph deletion collection. This untargeted approach revealed that the organic sulfur content may be responsible for the development of the buddy off-flavor, and that dormancy release is necessary for the appearance of the defect, but other factors such as microbial activity may also be contributing.

Tapping Tips: The basics of identifying trees and setting taps

Whether you anticipate tapping in your backyard with a half dozen trees or you wish to begin a bit more aggressively with several hundred taps, the core techniques and methods are the same. This guide will introduce you to basic maple tree identification and then prepare you for the basics of tree tapping, time of tapping and the logistics of getting started in the woods.

Adding Profits Through Value-Added Products

The tried-and-true value-added maple products include candy and cream, and many producers have taken advantage of these products already. Some have gone further, adding maple products like ice cream, maple cotton candy, and maple-coated popcorn or nuts. More adventurous sugarmakers have begun making additional items, like salad dressings, hot sauces, and dog biscuits.

Determining Shelf Life and Consumer Acceptability of Processed Maple Sap Beverages for Small Businesses

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.