MAPLE SYRUP GRADES
Maintaining the consistency maple grade syrups is crucial to private label marketers, chefs and food manufacturers alike. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has prepared the maple syrup grades, so that people can better select the maple syrups according to its viscosity and flavor.
· Grade A maple syrup
o Light Amber
o Medium Amber
o Dark Amber
· Grade B maple syrup
· Commercial Grade maple syrup
These maple syrup grades are set up on a specific system, having upper and lower boundaries for the color and flavor. A dark color of the maple syrup indicates a strong flavor. For example, organic Grade B maple syrup is much thicker and darker than organic Grade A maple syrup.
As per International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI), the maple syrups (especially Grade A ones), must be uniform in color, taste must be balanced with color, free from objectionable odors and free from turbidity.
The liking of a specific maple syrup type by a person is somewhat comparable to the liking of a particular type of wine (red, white or blush).
Organic Grade A maple syrup: The flavor of “Light Amber” is very light and subtle. Medium Amber has a soft mild maple flavor, while Dark Amber is aromatic and rich in taste and flavor.
Organic Grade B maple syrup: This is darker than Grade A, and has a substantial and strong flavor.
Both, Organic Grade A maple syrup and Organic Grade B maple syrup, taste excellent on waffles and pancakes. Grade A Dark Amber and Grade B maple syrup has that extra flavor that allows these to be used in other recipes as well.
Commercial Grade maple syrup is produced under the Vermont system (Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets-VAAFM), is not for intended for table use. Vermont enforces strict regulations for maple syrup grades, and can penalize US $1000 for incorrectly labeling syrup. Vermont system maintains its standards in terms of Baumé scale, and maintains high quality standards.
MAPLE SYRUP GRADES TABLE IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
% Transmission of Light United States Canada & Quebec Federal
More than 75% Tc Grade A Light Amber Grade AA – No. 1 Extra Light
75%* to 60%* Tc Grade A Medium Amber Grade A – No. 1 Light
61%* to 44%* Tc Grade A Dark Amber Grade A – No. 1 Medium
44%* to 27%* Tc Grade B Grade C – No. 2 Amber
Below than 27% Tc N/A Grade D – No. 3 Dark
*Above values are approximate
Tc is calculated based on how much light is transmitted across a 10 mm analytic grade glycerol;
light taken in the analysis is of 560 nanometers wavelength.
ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP GRADES QUALITY CONTROL
All organic maple syrup carries the USDA organic seal, and are certified by the Quality Assurance International (QAI). This ensures that when a person chooses an organic maple syrup product, it is free of any chemical or pesticide. QAI ensures this by stringent monitoring over the maple farms as well as the manufacturing units.