Grades of maple syrup

The paler the syrup, the higher its quality.

At La Ferme Martinette, classification is done again before bottleling.  We use a modern spectrophotometer instument equipped with an optical cell, which gives a precise measurement of the percentage of light transmitted by the syrup ( not shown).

 Colorimeters also continue to be widely used.




Modern model:











Sampling or the maple syrup to be analyse with the spectrophotometer





  Result: 93.7 % of transmittance of light = Canada No1 Extra-Light


See below tabloid for classification criterias




The classification given below was established by Canadian government authorities. The syrup category must be clearly indicated on every container, along with the producer's name and address.


Classification Grade Percentage of light transmitted Quality

Canada NO1 Extra light

AA 75% or greater

Very first Quality  Refine freshly boiled maple taste


Canada NO1 Light A From 60.5% to 74.9%

First Quality  balanced with wooden taste


Canada No1 Medium B From 44% to 60.4%

Medium Quality Commerical and common on international markets
Taste more like caramelised sugar and less maple taste


Canada NO2 Amber C From 27% to 43.9%

Low Quality Strong bitter taste


Canada NO3 Dark D Less than 27%

Very low quality Very strong bitter and unpleasant taste. Not authorised to be bottled in Canada. Use more in bakery industries.


The sugar concentration: BRIX 

Sugar concentration, expressed in Brix degrees, is measured using a refractometer. The principle is that the sugar concentration of the solution affects its index of refraction.

It gives us the density of sugar naturally composing the pure maple syrup.  These datas will assure us of the thickness of the product at 66 Brix degrees; important factor for preservation of the quality but also of the maple syrup.

If not thick enough, it will ferment to arrive to be a vinegar at the end of the fermenting and if it's too thick, it will tend to cristallize in the bottles. 



The perfect density of the natural sugar contained in the pure maple syrup for all grades of maple syrup is 66% = 66 Brix degrees


Grades of maple syrup