Recognized around the world as a high-quality, natural product, Quebec’s maple syrup is a product whose food safety, wholesomeness, authenticity and classifying pass strict quality approval. Under the Entente relative à la gestion de l’inspection des produits de l’érable en grands contenants, the FPAQ mandated Cintech Agroalimentaire to inspect maple syrup in large containers. This quality check (classification) is done under the Act respecting the marketing of agricultural, food and fish products.
Classifying maple syrup for export
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency keeps watch over the healthfulness and quality of Canadian maple syrup products. They are also responsible for the federal classification of maple syrup. This classification system includes 4 grades of Canada A maple syrup:
The evolution of the taste of maple syrup throughout the season
The flavour and colour of maple syrup vary throughout the season due to the various changes that its composition undergoes. At the beginning of the season, maple sap has a high content of saccharose. At the end of the season, its fructose and glucose content increases.
Saccharose, fructose and glucose are all sugars, but each has its own distinct sweetening strength. Glucose and fructose have a sweeter flavour than saccharose. Maple sap collected at the beginning of the season will produce syrup not as sweet as a syrup made from the sap collected at the end of the season.
As with all sugars, the contents of various natural components found in maple sap (amino acids, minerals) vary with time. These changes in the make-up of maple sap are responsible for the differences in colour and flavour of maple syrup. Colour and flavour changes occur at different times during the season. Different other parameters will also directly interfere on these characteristics and classification: environment, equipment and knowledge of the maple syrup producer.