Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec
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Grading system Back

Over the course of the season, maple syrup varies in color (light to dark) as well as taste. These changes are completely natural.

Classification based on light transmission

The most common method used to classify maple syrup is light transmission. The degree of light transmission is measured using a spectrophotometer.

Category

Percentage of light transmission

sirop_extra-clair Extra light

100% – 75%

sirop_clair Light

74.9% – 60.5%

sirop_medium Medium

60.4% – 44%

sirop_ambre Amber

43.9% – 27%

sirop_fonce Dark

26.9% and under

Two regulations in effect

In Canada, there are two regulations governing the classification of maple syrup:

  • Canadian federal government classification
  • Quebec provincial government classification

In addition to the degree of light transmission, maple syrup can be classified according to taste, clarity, and density, which must be between 66 and 68.9 Brix degrees.

Application of the two classification regulations

Quebec maple syrup producers who only sell their products in Quebec can choose to comply with either type of classification. However, maple syrup producers and processors who export syrup to other provinces or countries must comply with Canadian regulations.

Provincial classification of maple syrup

Under the Regulation respecting food, the Quebec government establishes two categories and five color grades for maple syrup based on clarity, density, and characteristic maple flavor. The syrup must also meet all quality standards.

Category № 1

Extra Light

Light

Medium

Amber

Dark

  • Meets the standards of section 8.4.1 of the Regulation respecting food
  • Is clear and of uniform color
  • Has the characteristic flavor of maple syrup
  • Is free from caramel or sap taste or traces of insoluble calcium malate
  • Has at most a trace of crystallization

 

Category № 2

Extra Light

Light

Medium

Amber

Dark

  • Meets the standards of section 8.4.1 of the Regulation respecting food
  • Is clear
  • Has the characteristic flavor of maple syrup
  • Has at most a trace of crystallization
  • Has at most:
  • A taste of caramel or sap
  • A trace of insoluble calcium malate

Federal maple syrup grades

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which monitors the safety and quality of maple products in Canada, oversees the federal grading maple syrup.

A new classification standard came into effect on January 1, 2015. The maple syrup industry has two years to adapt to these new requirements.

The new standard harmonizes definitions and classification systems for maple syrup in the US and Canada. It modernizes the system of classifying maple syrup by category and color by adding taste descriptions.

This new classification has two categories and four classes of maple syrup.

 

Canada Grade A

Class

Light transmission

Characteristics

Logo Sirop extra-clairGolden, delicate taste

75% and over

  • Meets the standards of section 5 of the Maple Products Regulations
  • Is free from fermentation
  • Is of clear, uniform color
  • Has no objectionable odor or taste
  • Has a maple flavor characteristic of its color class

sirop_ambreAmber, rich taste

Between 50% and 74.9%

sirop_fonceDark, robust taste

Between 25% and 49.9%

sirop_tres-fonceVery dark, strong taste

Less than 25%

 

 

Canada Processing Grade

Characteristics

  • Meets the standards of section 5 of the Maple Products Regulations
  • Does not qualify for Grade A

Choosing maple syrup is a matter of taste

Regardless of classification, maple syrup is 100% natural. Maple syrup is a high quality product that can be enjoyed any way you like. Every grade is delicious in its own way, and you can enjoy them all in any way you choose.

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