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Variation and Correlation of Properties in Different Grades of Maple Syrup


Thirty five commercial maple syrups from twelve producers in Southern Ontario were evaluated for properties including light transmittance, autofluorescence, density, pH, total soluble solids (TSS), glucose and fructose content, total phenol content, antioxidant potential and mineral content (Mg, Mn, P, Zn, Ca, K, Fe and Pb). A high degree of variability was found in many characteristics, often exceeding an order of magnitude. Syrups were categorized based on light transmission at 560 nm into amber (12), dark (13) and very dark (10) using International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) guidelines. No statistical differences were found among grades of syrup for density, pH, TSS, glucose, fructose, total reducing sugars, glucose:fructose ratio, magnesium, manganese or potassium. Darker syrups showed significantly higher autofluorescence, total phenol content, antioxidant potential, phosphorous, calcium and total mineral content. Significant negative correlations of percent transmission with total phenol content, antioxidant potential and total mineral content are reported. Significant positive correlations among total phenol content, antioxidant potential and total mineral content are also described. The results from this study suggest that darker syrups tend to contain more beneficial traits and may be applied in developing functional foods and value added products.

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2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl


360 nm excitation and 460 nm emission


Environment protection agency


Gallic acid equivalent


International Maple Syrup Institute


Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food


Trolox equivalent


Total soluble solids


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The authors acknowledge the Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of Guelph, ON, Canada for financial support.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Praveen K. Saxena.

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Singh, A.S., Jones, A.M.P. & Saxena, P.K. Variation and Correlation of Properties in Different Grades of Maple Syrup. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 69, 50–56 (2014).

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