Concentrating sap with reverse osmosis (RO) substantially increases the efficiency and profitability of processing maple sap into syrup by reducing the amount of fuel and time required to complete concentration to syrup density in the evaporator, with gains proportional to the level of sap pre-concentration. Because most flavor development in maple syrup occurs through nonenzymatic browning reactions as sap is processed with heat in the evaporator, it has often been speculated that reduced evaporator processing time resulting from the use of RO might also result in perceptible impacts on syrup flavor. However, a series of controlled experiments conducted at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center using the same sap processed to different levels with RO determined that concentrating sap up to 21.5% prior to boiling in standard maple evaporators had no substantive effects on syrup composition or flavor.
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Tips for building a homemade reverse osmisis machine.
Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis are membrane concentration processes originally used by maple syrup producers to preconcentrate the sap to a moderate °Brix level (8–16 °Brix). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential of new membrane technology to concentrate maple sap to ultra-high °Brix and to investigate the effect of this concentration on the chemical composition and physical properties of final sap concentrate. Maple sap was concentrated up to 42 °Brix using two industrial membrane units. The contents of main solutes increased with the °Brix of concentrates depending on the specific rejection rate of the membranes tested. A slight and significant decrease was observed in the availability of some solutes such as K+, Mn++ and polyphenols in ultra-high-concentrated sap. However, the apparent organoleptic and physical properties of these concentrates have not been altered. According to the results of this, the new membrane process allows to produce ultra-high °Brix concentrate of maple sap with interesting properties. However, further works have to be performed on this technology to more precisely determine the highest °Brix level that will minimise the affect on chemical composition and properties of concentrated sap and the corresponding maple syrup.
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.
Techniques used to produce maple syrup have considerably evolved over the last decades making them more efficient and economically profitable. However, these advances must respect composition and quality standards as well as authenticity of maple products. Recently, a new and improved high vacuum technology has been made available to producers to achieve higher sap yields. The aim of the present study was therefore to evaluate the effect of this new system on the yield of sap and on the sap and syrup chemical composition.
Between 2008 and 2011 we conducted a series of controlled experiments performed with commercial maple equipment to investigate the potential effects of the use of RO on the composition, properties, and flavor of the maple syrup produced.
Given our extensive research experience on RO processing and flavor, and the appearance of new RO technology that could concentrate to higher levels, a shift toward this new technology seemed appropriate. Therefore after investigating various options, we entered into a partnership with Lapierre Equipment to utilize the new HyperBrix RO system at UVM PMRC. This paper describes some aspects of our first two seasons of use of this equipment. Given the state of the industry, we define Òhigh brixÓ maple sap processing as RO machines capable of producing concentrate at 30¡Brix or higher.
Small reverse osmosis machines can be built from consumer parts and can help small producers cut down on boiling time and energy use. This article offers tips on building such devices.
Research findings on high-brix reverse osmosis production.
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.