We had two objectives in the study of sugar maples which showed signs of decline and stress on a roadside where deicing salt was used in the winter. One goal was to determine if tree stress is related to the levels offsodium and chloride in their sap and in the groundwater and soil around their roots; and, if so, to develop methodology approved by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) that would allow any laboratory to use a standard method to assess maple tree decline due to sodium and chloride effect. The second goal was to evaluate the quality of the syrup processed from sap aseptically collected from maples in decline. We are updating here the later objective of the project that is of interest to the sugar maple producers.
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How long can I store sap? Sap is a highly perishable product. This article explains what happens as it is stored, and how to avoid problems.
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.
Knowing how to detect and avoid metabolic off-flavors is critical to producing high-quality syrup.
Maple syrup has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other specialty foods. Its characteristic for exhibiting different subtle flavors depending on where it was produced, and, at times, how it was produced make it a product that everyone, regardless of their taste preferences, can enjoy. However, this characteristic also makes syrup flavor susceptable to flavors that are not conisdered typical. These off-flavors can occur anywhere from the tree to the containers. Not only do production methods affect the flavor, but Mother Nature has a hand in it too. Following are some common off-flavors that have been encountered, their likely causes, and ways to avoid these problems.
Research on metabolism off-flavor in maple syrup at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research and Extension Center (PMREC) had two main objectives. The first was to identify the primary compound(s) responsible for metabolism off-flavor in maple syrup. Once the responsible compound or compounds were identified, measures to reduce or remove the off-flavor from finished maple syrup could be investigated. Thus, the second main objective was to determine whether a technique could be found that maple producers and packers might employ to effectively remediate the flavor, and thereby increase the economic value, of metabolized maple syrup.
The objective of this study was to examine several possible remediation techniques to determine which, if any, was most effective in reducing or removing metabolism off-flavor from maple syrup.
One of the many off-flavors that can be found in maple syrup is metabolism, often compared to the taste of wet cardboard or ‘woody.’ This article explains metabolism and how to identify it.
A guide to tasting maple syrup and checking for off-flavors
Acquiring the ability to identify common off-flavours in maple syrup is important for producers. Detecting buddy off-flavour in fresh sap can be difficult, although much easier to taste in finished syrup. Buddy syrup can be described as an unpleasant chocolatey aroma and flavour having a lingering bad aftertaste. Buddy flavour in maple syrup is a food quality issue, not a food safety issue.