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Maple Syrup: What Makes the grade

Maple Syrup: What Makes the grade

Whats are maple syrup grades and what determines the grade of your maple syrup? In this article, we'll look into the two grades of maple syrup and find out what they are all about.


Just to clear things up- maple syrup comes in two grades:

  1. Grade A
  2. Processing grade

What people usually mean when they refer to the grade of maple syrup is the colour of the maple syrup.


Within Grade A there are four colour classes of maple syrup. The colour has less of a bearing on the grade as it once did so Grade A syrup covers all the colours that maple syrup comes in.


In this article, we'll dig into what makes a maple syrup Grade A and what makes it Processing Grade.


For more on the colour classifications fo maple syrup check out our page on Maple syrup grades here.


So let's get into it and see what's up with maple syrup grades.


Grade A Maple Syrup

 According to Health Canada's maple product regulations (MPR), maple syrup that is marked Grade A must adhere to the following:

  • Free from fermentation;

  • Is uniform in colour and free from sediment and free from any cloudiness or turbidity;

  • Has a colour class of

    • Golden, Delicate Taste,

    • Amber, Rich Taste,

    • Dark, Robust Taste, or

    • Very Dark, Strong Taste; and

  • Has a maple flavour characteristic of its colour class and is free from any objectionable odour or taste.


Let's break each one of these down a bit and look into each a bit deeper.


Has to be free from fermentation

Maple syrup, as you probably know contains sugar. In fact, if produced correctly it contains 66.0% to 68.5% sugar.


As a result, if yeast gets into it then it will start to ferment. Fermentation in maple syrup, unlike craft beer, is not something you want.


Fermentation is probably the most common off flavour we find in maple syrup that comes into our facility. Maple syrup that has been fermented, even a little will have a sour taste that is very hard to mask.


Fermentation in maple syrup usually comes from improper bulk packaging. Bulk maple syrup drums that were not properly cleaned or were not cleaned at all are a common culprit for fermented maple syrup.


Bulk packaging like drums that were not properly filled is also another usual suspect for fermented maple syrup. 






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