Sticky FAQs about Canadian maple syrup

Sharing some sticky facts about maple syrup from www.purecanadamaple.com (check their site for more interesting information).  Will bring home from Canada some of the good real pure organic stuff in May! It’s really good and I’ll stick to my statement!  Call the store to reserve your bottle!

How maple syrup is made…

• Pure maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple tree and produced in limited capacity only once per year

• In the springtime, when the nights are still cold, the water from the soil is naturally absorbed into the tree. During the day, the warmer temperature creates pressure that pushes the water back down to the bottom of the tree, making sap collection possible

• The maple harvest season only lasts for a period of about 12 to 20 days, usually from early March to the end of April

• Any maple tree measuring about 8 inches in diameter or more may be tapped, but the number of taps on a single tree is calculated based on the tree’s diameter, its health and its growth rate. Regulated tapping does not affect a tree’s growth

• It takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup

• For other maple products – butter, taffy or sugar – the maple syrup is further boiled in the evaporator to the temperature necessary to produce each product.

Maple syrup nutrition

Pure Canadian maple syrup sourced from the maple tree not only tastes better than processed sweeteners made from corn syrup, it is also better for you.  Based on research by the Canadian Nutrient File (Health Canada), maple syrup’s nutritional value is superior to other common sweeteners, such as honey, sugar, and even brown sugar.  The calories in maple syrup are lower than in corn syrup and honey, averaging about 50 calories per tablespoon.

  • Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses, and is necessary for normal brain and nerve function. A portion of ¼ cup of maple syrup contains 100% of the Daily Value of manganese.
  • The sweetener provides 37% of the Daily Value of riboflavin, which aids in the metabolic process.
  • Pure Canadian maple syrup also contains 18% of the recommended Daily Value of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
  • Other minerals found in maple syrup are magnesium, calcium and potassium, decreasing the risk of hypertension or stroke.

How do I know if I am buying pure maple syrup or the fake stuff?

There are many brands of pure Canadian maple syrup on the U.S. market, all of which are 100 percent natural and free of any coloring or additives.  Leading pancake syrups contain zero pure maple syrup and rely on high fructose corn syrup as the primary sweetening ingredient, along with additives like artificial flavorings and coloring agents.  Bottom line, be sure to check the label.  Sometimes imitation syrups list maple syrup as an ingredient, when it only contains 5 percent.  Check the bottle to make sure you’re getting 100 percent of the real, Canadian thing.

Update on maple syrup health benefits…

Can pure maple syrup help reduce chronic inflmamation?

First-ever Global Symposium Convenes to Review Latest Science on Natural Sweetener

SAN FRANCISCO, April 3, 2017 – The first-ever global symposium, solely dedicated to sharing the latest scientific discoveries on the potential health benefits of 100% pure maple products from Canada, took place on April 2 in San Francisco at the 253rd annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the largest scientific society in the world. At the symposium, entitled “Chemistry and Biological Effects of Maple Food Products,” scientists from around the world shared the results of their research that expands the science of maple’s potential impact on several areas affected by chronic inflammation. These include metabolic syndrome, brain health and liver disease, as well as maple’s emerging link to a healthy gut microbiome.

The global symposium was organized by Dr. Navindra Seeram, who currently serves as chairman of the Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Seeram has extensive experience examining the impact of phytonutrients in foods such as berries and pomegranates. In collaboration with the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, Dr. Seeram has been studying the unique properties of maple in his laboratory at the University of Rhode Island since 2009. The results of his research stimulated the interest of the global scientific community, which has uncovered additional health benefits of pure maple products.

A new University of Rhode Island study, highlighted at the symposium, revealed the presence of inulin, a type of carbohydrate recently discovered for the first time in maple syrup. Inulin is a complex carbohydrate (natural dietary fiber) that acts as a prebiotic and works to encourage the growth of “good” or beneficial bacteria in the gut. Inulin joins the other beneficial polyphenols, vitamins and minerals already identified in pure maple syrup. This latest discovery could allow maple to be classified as a functional food.

In addition, a new study conducted on animals, also revealed at the symposium, focused on the beneficial effect of a symbiotic (prebiotic and probiotic) maple sap drink in recovering gut flora balance, which can be lost for several reasons, including treatment with antibiotics.

“A healthy gut, with a balance of beneficial bacteria, helps to stimulate and support a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system, then, can help protect the body against chronic inflammation,” said Dr. Seeram. “Chronic inflammation has been shown to have a potential link to brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. As such, this research provides additional information linking pure maple syrup, a unique natural sweetener, to brain health. However, additional animal studies, along with eventual human studies, would be required to confirm these initial findings.”

This year, two newly discovered additional compounds with antioxidant properties and potential health benefits have been identified in the lignan family, bringing the total count of known phytonutrients in maple products to 65. This may help support discoveries made over the past few years on the inherent properties of maple syrup from Canada that comes directly from the sap of the maple tree, making it an all-natural product with unique health benefits. Discovered in 2011, a unique, polyphenolic molecule in maple syrup, Quebecol1, and one of its analogues (isoquebecol, recently synthesized), have demonstrated that it significantly decreases the production of inflammation mediators.

“The 7,500 Quebec-based maple producers are committed to pursuing funding of new research to help further identify the positive health impacts of pure maple,” said Serge Beaulieu, President of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. “This is why we have chosen to work with Dr. Seeram along with other researchers. Dr. Seeram’s tremendous experience studying the impact of phytonutrients in plants and fruits has propelled maple research since he began studying the natural sweetener in 2009. There is still much to discover about maple’s health benefits, and the scientific community has only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to allocate resources to research on maple products to discover its impacts on the human body.”

Inflammation is a normal part of a healthy immune response, and is a biological process that helps heal injury and fight infection. When inflammation becomes uncontrolled or chronic, it plays a role in exacerbating a variety of health-related issues. There are several ways to help prevent and combat chronic inflammation. A diet rich in foods that contain polyphenols, such as green tea, red wine, fruits and vegetables – and potentially pure maple syrup from Canada – may be beneficial for supporting a healthy immune system.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers does not promote an increase of sugar consumption. When choosing a sweetener for moderate use, it appears that 100% pure maple syrup from Canada has more healthful compounds compared to some other sources of sugar.