If a facility has a food processing plant license, they must label their maple syrup product as one of the following: Grade A, processing grade, or substandard.
Note: If the product is being sold as bulk to be further processed it may be labeled as ungraded.
If a facility does not hold a food processing plant license, they must label their product as one of the following: Grade A, processing grade, substandard, or ungraded.
Grade A requirements: Maple syrup labeled as Grade A must meet the following characteristics:
- Is not more than 68.9 percent solids content by weight, or 68.9 degrees Brix.
- Has good uniform color.
- Has good flavor and odor, and intensity of flavor, or maple taste, normally associated with the color class for Grade A maple syrup.
- Is free from off flavors and odors considered as damage.
- Is free from cloudiness, turbidity, sediment, and is clean.
Grade A must be accompanied by descriptive information: The color class of Grade A maple syrup is determined by the percent of transmittance of light at a wavelength of 560 nanometers through the syrup, as measured with a spectrophotometer using matched square optical cells having a 10 mm light path. The color value is expressed as percent of light transmission, as compared to analytical grade glycerol fixed at 100 percent. Percent transmittance is denoted by %Tc. Any method that provides equivalent results may be used to determine Grade A maple syrup color class. Grade A maple syrup color classes and corresponding flavor descriptors are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Maple Syrup Color Classes and Flavor Descriptions
|Grade A Color Class||Flavor Descriptor||Percent Light Trasmittance|
|Golden||Delicate||At least 75.0|
|Very Dark||Strong||Less than 25.0|
Processing grade: Maple syrup labeled as processing grade shall be packed in containers holding at least 5 gallons (18.925 liters) and shall not be packaged in containers smaller than 5 gallons (18.925 liters) for retail sale. Processing grade maple syrup has all of the following characteristics:
- Fails to meet the requirements for Grade A maple syrup.
- Possesses a fairly good characteristic maple taste.
- Is fairly clean and fairly free of damage, turbidity, or cloudiness.
- May be in any color class and have any percent light transmittance.
- Has not more than 68.9 percent solids content by weight, or not more than 68.9 degrees Brix.
- May contain off flavors and odors.
- May have a very strong taste.
Substandard grade: Maple syrup labeled as substandard does not meet the requirements for processing grade.
Ungraded: Any maple syrup that does not have a grade designation.