The Cornell Maple Program has been working on developing athletics-oriented maple products for several years. Our latest work has led to a “maple sports drink,” a hydrating, nourishing electrolyte-replacement beverage that meets the same nutritional standards as Gatorade and Powerade.
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Optimal syrup production starts at the tree, and requires thinking beyond the current season. This session focuses on tapping practices that both maximize yield and ensure long-term sustainability of your sugarbush. Topics include timing of tapping, taphole placement, taphole sanitation, and sap collection.
Presentation by Dr. Abby van den Berg, UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, at the NY Mid-Winter Classic Conference.
The Cornell Maple Program presents Sweet Talk, with hosts, co-directors of CMP, Aaron Wightman and Adam Wild. Your hosts will present the latest research, news, and trends in the maple industry, with various guests including other maple researchers, industry experts, and local sugarmakers.
Maple syrup is produced typically from maple sap concentrated by nanofiltration or reverse osmosis at a moderate °Brix level ranging from 6 to 16 °Brix followed by heat evaporation. Recently, new membrane processes have been developed to concentrate maple sap to ultra-high °Brix reaching up to 40 °Brix. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of this ultra-high concentration of sap on the composition, the properties and the cost of corresponding maple syrup. Results showed some differences in chemical composition and properties between syrups produced from low and ultra-high concentration of sap. Syrups produced from ultra-high °Brix concentrated sap had lower concentrations of potassium and polyphenols, a lighter color and distinctive flavor. This was mainly observed when no modification were applied to the heating pattern in the evaporator pans. However, syrups produced by modulation of the heating pattern in the evaporator had color, flavor and taste similar to control syrups. These results demonstrate that syrups with comparable sensory properties can be obtained from low and ultra-high concentrated sap by adjusting the heating time depending on the initial °Brix. The concentration process to ultra high °Brix allows for a concomitant reduction of the production costs and a modulation of syrup quality.
The Cornell Maple Program in Lake Placid, NY has been managing groves of sugar maples selected and propagated for having genetically sweeter sap for close to 40 years. Are these trees actually sweeter and how much sap do they produce? Recent sampling looked back over the plantation to test the heritability of sap sweetness.
There has been a lot of research over the years investigating the health and productivity of sugar maple in Vermont and the broader region. What do these findings tell us about how sugar maple might fair under a changing climate? Are there strategies that can be used to bolster the resilience of sugar maple?
Back by popular demand! Abby van den Berg will share results and progress from various research projects on maximizing yields and sustainability at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center.
Because the impacts on yields of early tapping strategies, with or without subsequent rejuvenation, are likely to be affected by weather conditions which can vary widely from year to year, controlled experiments over multiple years are required in order to more fully assess whether any of these strategies result in greater yields than tapholes made during the standard spring sap flow period, or whether any increases in yield would be sufficient to compensate for the increased costs associated with implementing them. Thus, we conducted a multi-year, controlled experiment to assess the yields of several early tapping strategies, with and without subsequent rejuvenation, relative to the yields of standard spring tapholes.
In recent years, research at Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Forest has looked at ways to maximize maple sap production through tapping practices such as spout selection, re-tapping and timing of tapping.