Maple syrup and maple products are natural, nutritious products with
    no coloring agents and no additives produced from sap of the sugar
    maple tree.  Maple syrup is produced by the evaporation of maple
    water. It takes 40 gallons of maple water to produce one (1) gallon of
    maple syrup.

    Maple syrup production or the “sugaring off” season only occurs once a
    year for 6-8 weeks in mid-February through April. Québec produces
    over 85 percent of the world's maple syrup, equal to 93 percent of
    Canadian production. (Source: Québec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and

    Maple syrup and maple products are defined by their sugar density: 66
    brix or 66 percent sugar.

    Maple syrup has three grades and five color classifications according to
    its clarity, density and the characteristic taste of maple. The color
    classification is obtained by determining the level of transmission of
    light of the maple syrup.

    Canada No. 1 Extra Light (U.S. Grade A Light Amber/Fancy):
    Produced at the very beginning of the season, very pale color and
    delicate taste. Light transmittance over 75 percent (Québec Grade AA)

    Canada No. 1 Light (U.S. Grade A Medium Amber): Produced at the
    beginning of the season in mid March. Pale amber in color with a pure,
    subtle flavor. Light transmittance 61 to 74 percent (Québec Grade A)

    Canada No. 1 Medium (U.S. Grade A Dark Amber): Produced in the
    middle of the season, this is the most popular grade available. A rich
    amber color and more pronounced flavor. Light transmittance 44 to 60
    percent (Québec Grade B)

    Canada No. 2 Amber (U.S. Grade B Commercial): Produced near the
    end of the season, stronger maple taste and dark color. Recommended
    for cooking or for those who prefer a strong maple taste. Light
    transmittance 27 to 43 percent (Québec Grade C)

    Canada No. 3 Dark (U.S. Grade B Commercial): Produced at the very
    end of the season, it has the highest mineral content. This is a very
    dark syrup mainly used as an ingredient for food processing. Light
    transmittance 0 to 26 percent (Québec Grade D)

Flavor Profiles:       
    Maple syrup and maple products have many flavor profiles. Generally
    speaking, the lighter the color grade, the more delicate the flavor and
    the darker the color grade, the stronger the taste. These flavors are
    heavily influenced by the "terroir" or growing regions of the sugar
    maple trees.

    Maple syrup and other maple products come in liquid and solid forms
    for a variety of applications. Maple syrup being the most common form
    of maple available. Other forms of maple products include sugars of
    varying granularity, jelly, butter, taffy, cream, concentrate/glaze and
    maple flakes.


    (1)DV: Daily value is the intake of a given nutrient deemed as to fulfill the daily
    nutritional needs of most individuals.

    Maple syrup contains three essential minerals; potassium, calcium and
    magnesium and is a nutritional alternative to other sugars and sugar

    Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, an essential cofactor
    in a number of enzymes important in energy production and
    antioxidant defenses and a good source of zinc. 2

    A recent study demonstrated that maple syrup contains phenolic
    compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancerogenic properties.3

    With a glycemic index of 54, maple syrup is considered a low glycemic
    product, which means it affects blood sugar to a lesser degree than
    sugar (GI 58) or honey (GI 87).4

    Sources: 1. Canadian Nutrient File (Health Canada) 2. The World's Healthiest
    Foods - 3. THÉRIAULT and others, "Antioxidant, antiradical,
    and antimutagenic activities of phenolic compounds present in maple products",
    Food Chemistry 98, 2006, p. 490-501. 4. Glycemic Index database, University of

Added Benefits:        
    Maple syrup and maple products are eco-friendly. Québec maple syrup
    producers are “gardeners of the forest” by virtue of their care of the
    maple trees and sustainable development of the forest. Forest
    ecosystems contribute to counteracting the effects of climate change.

source: M. Laport
© 2009 Québec Delegation Chicago