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Identifying an Effective Defoamer for Certified Organic Maple Production

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.

Sanitation, Clogging, or Both: A Comparison Study of 3/16” and 5/16” Maple Tubing

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 5/16” 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 3/16” 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 3/16” tubing systems to determine which approach(es) might best mitigate sap losses due to sanitation.

A Decade of Spout and Tubing Sanitation Research Summarized

More then a decade ago there was a renewed realization that microbial contamination of maple sap collection systems was having a significant detrimental impact on sap yields. Several research studies to investigate ways to improve sap yields from tubing systems were undertaken at both the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center (Underhill, VT) and at the Cornell University Arnot Forest (Van Etten, NY) starting at about the same time and proceeded both as independent and joint projects from 2009-2018. The results of many of these studies have been reported in the past in numerous individual publications and presentations. This article seeks to combine and present this extensive body of work into a single, comprehensive, but concise summary of our results.

UVM Sap Pricing Calculator

This spreadsheet can be used to determine the price per gallon paid to the seller for sap or concentrate based upon a finished syrup density of either 66.0, 66.5, or 66.9° Brix and calculated using the “Revised Jones Rule” which can be found at:

Composition and Properties of Maple Sap, Concentrate, and Permeate

Reverse osmosis is used widely in the maple syrup industry to concentrate maple sap and increase the overall efficiency and profitability of syrup pro-duction. Sets of samples from maple producers utilizing a range of sap con-centration levels were collected and analyzed to provide a portrait of the phy-sicochemical properties and chemical composition of maple sap, concentrate, and permeate across a single production season. The results reinforce that re-verse osmosis functions essentially as a concentration process, without signifi-cantly altering the fundamental proportions of sap constituents.

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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?

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Will the dry weather affect syrup production next spring?

Check-valve spouts vs. standard clear spouts

Leader Evaporator Co. Check-Valve (CV) spouts and adapters incorporate a small, free-floating ball which is designed to reduce or prevent backflow of sap into the taphole during freezing, when leaks in the tubing system occurs, and when mechanical releasers dump and introduce air into the system. Several studies over nearly a decade have compared sap yields from CV adapters and spouts to various non-CV spouts and adapters.

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Could the sugar maples have broken bud during unusually warm January temperatures?