WASHINGTON — It is written on every label: “100% Pure Maple Syrup.” But what is it about pure maple syrup that makes it “pure?” A deeper look into the sweetener shows there are certain scientific and sentimental elements that give it its purity.
Most of what makes maple syrup pure is in the production process. Maple syrup is made from the sap that forms naturally in the sugar maple tree. Sap is collected by tapping trees when sap naturally begins to flow in the late winter or early spring. Small spouts are inserted into the tree to channel the sap from the tree into vacuum-sealed tubes that transport it to collection containers. After collection, the sap is boiled in an evaporator. The boiling concentrates the sap down into syrup. Some producers run the sap through a reverse osmosis machine first, which removes water from the sap and makes the boiling process quicker. Pure maple syrup is just sap from the maple tree without the water.
The sweetness of maple syrup is naturally occurring so there are no added sugars, additives, or preservatives, making it more pure than other table syrups. There are no added colors to maple syrup either. The color, as well as the smell and taste, of maple syrup comes from the caramelization that occurs during the evaporation process. The varying colors and flavors depend on the amount of time the sap spends in the evaporator and also the time of the maple season that the sap is collected. The lighter-colored and delicate-flavored syrup grades come from sap in the early part of the season that requires a shorter time in the evaporator. Meanwhile, syrup grades with darker hues and bolder maple tastes come from end-of-the-season sap that requires longer boil times.
Leading maple researcher Dr. Navindra Seeram from the University of Rhode Island says, “Nature is the best chemist” when it comes to maple syrup. The syrup-making process brings out the natural characteristics of sap, which makes for a pure product to enjoy.
Pure maple syrup contains over 100 nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polyphenols to name a few. Each of these compounds occurs naturally in maple syrup, and, when consumed in moderation, maple syrup can be a source of nutritional value for the consumer. Maple syrup is also a natural source of energy. Maple syrup provides carbohydrates, which break down into glucose. Glucose gives energy to the body for doing physical activity and also helps the body recover afterward. Again, nothing is added to give maple syrup these beneficial qualities. Whether a professional athlete or someone going on an afternoon bike ride, maple syrup can be an excellent source of natural energy for an active lifestyle.
One other aspect of maple syrup’s purity is not found in the makeup of the food but rather in the makers themselves. Maple trees are found only in a specific portion of North America, predominantly the Northeastern United States and the province of Québec in Canada. That means sugarmakers are locals producing syrup for their neighbors. While maple syrup is exported around the world, it retains a small-town community feel because producers have a heart for their consumers. They work hard to make sure their syrup is pure and made in the proper manner. This all may sound a bit “sappy,” but the “pure intentions” of producers is what makes the maple syrup industry so sweet.
About Real Maple: Real Maple is the only natural sweetener made from one botanical ingredient – maple sap – with no added colors or flavors. 100% pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener that contains vitamins and minerals that help maintain and support a healthy body. Real Maple truly is The Smarter Sweetener. Keep up with Real Maple on Facebook and Instagram (@userealmaple) for nutrition information, fun facts, recipes, and more!
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