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Clement A.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Lagace L.,developpement et de transfert technologique acericole Inc. | Panneton B.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Journal of Food Engineering | Year: 2010

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener obtained from the transformation of maple sap collected mostly from sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) in North America. At present, simple physico-chemical tests are used for routine quality control. Inspectors also taste all batches on the market to ensure authenticity. Because of the presence of various aromatic compounds in sap and syrup, intrinsic fluorescence was tested as a means to characterize the physico-chemistry and typicity of maple syrup. Two hundred samples of sap and their corresponding syrup were obtained from various farms in 2003 and 2004. They were analysed by conventional physico-chemical tests and by fluorescence spectroscopy. Two major regions of fluorescence were found, which were mostly the same for sap and syrup. The first one was at 320 nm, excited at 275 nm, and the second one at 460 nm, excited at 360 (syrup) or 370 nm (sap). The first peak diminishes as harvesting season progresses, while the second peak increases, making it possible to predict the harvesting period of syrup from its spectra (r2 = 0.88 in 2003 and 0.81 in 2004). Color of syrup (r2 = 0.91 and 0.88) and bacterial counts in sap (r2 = 0.75 and 0.78) were also predicted from syrup spectra. Results show that sap spectra are related to syrup spectra and could potentially be used as predictor of quality prior to transformation. Discriminant analysis revealed that between 71% and 95% of syrup samples were correctly classified according to the farm of origin in 2003, and between 78% and 100% in 2004. Proximity was not always a factor of explanation of misclassification, suggesting that precise farm location, rather than the broad region of production is the major factor of typicity. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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