Work done at the Uihlein Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid during the 2018 and 2019 maple syrup season looked at timing of tapping to best capture the most amount of sap. During this study it was found that trees tapped in late March did not yield as much syrup since they missed early sap runs. Trees tapped in January were able to capture early season sap runs but yield diminished slightly near the end of the season due to microbial plugging.
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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.
The Cornell Maple Program has developed a new, user-friendly tool to calculate how much of each syrup you would need to blend. This calculator will only help sugarmakers using digital light meters that give the percentage of light transmittance (%Tc) through your syrup.
Cottage food laws vary considerably from state to state, and are generally intended to be a way for small farmers and food processors to establish small businesses offering value-added food products. Some states require food producers to pay a fee, obtain a permit or license, or register with the town, county or state. Periodic health inspections of home kitchens and even product testing may also be required depending on location.
As the maple industry has grown, so too has the use of plastic sap tubing. Solutions are needed to help producers dispose of tubing when it is past its useful life, in ways that ensure it is not merely ending up in landfills.
Although several previous studies have examined syrup darkening in different retail containers, packers and producers sometimes question the effectiveness of an oxygen-barrier in reducing the rate of color change. Two studies were performed by the University of Vermont (UVM) Proctor Maple Research Center (PMRC) in 2018 and 2019 to compare the rate of color (LT) change in maple syrup in uncoated and XL-coated retail plastic containers.
The combination of potential crop losses from foam-related incidents, reductions in crop value due to off-flavors, and ultimately the many adverse effects of such a large proportion of organic syrup with off-flavors potentially being sold to consumers, underscore the need to identify or develop a certified organic defoamer for maple production that is both more effective at controlling foam than the culinary oils that are currently used, and which results in no off-flavors when used in the quantities necessary to adequately control foam. Thus, the overall objective of this project was to identify a certified organic defoamer that met these criteria.
We are seeing new challenges for our maples and their offspring. Invasive species, climate change, poor forest management, and other factors are all serious threats to the productivity of harvesting maple sugar in the decades to come. However, there are things we can do to protect the tradition of maple sugaring in our regions. Silviculture is our primary tool.
Looking around your woods youÕll see that there are far more trees on the landscape than you have time to measure. The science of forestry has taught us that similar stands (ones that have the same species composition, size classes, productivity, and management history) do not need to undergo a 100% census to get an accurate picture of what is there. Foresters use sampling methods that inventory stands to get an accurate representation of what is in them and the quality of the resource.
It is well recognized that microbial contamination of tubing systems can result in a substantial loss in sap yield if untreated. Over a decade of research and maple industry experience has produced a range of possible strategies to address sanitation-related issues in 5/16Ó tubing systems (Perkins et. al. 2019). Although rapidly adopted by many maple producers, due to the relatively short time period in which it has been in widespread use, there is far less understanding of sanitation in 3/16Ó tubing systems (Wilmot 2018). To address this knowledge deficit, we conducted a multi-year study at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center to examine sanitation-related losses in 3/16Ó tubing systems to determine which approach(es) might best mitigate sap losses due to sanitation.