Have you ever come across something floating in your maple syrup? What did you do, and what did you think it was?
Did you declare the maple syrup bad and threw it away? What was your reaction towards this?
This post will walk you through everything you need to know about maple syrup in line with the questions above.
Can Maple Syrup Mold?
Yes, maple syrup can mold, but non-toxic. If you find mold on your maple syrup, carefully remove it from your maple syrup, then heat. Rip off any floaties remaining, then transfer into a clean container. Doing this will make your maple syrup safe again for consumption.
Massachusetts Maple Producers Association has clarified that maple syrup can last longer, but you need to keep it refrigerated once you open it. The MMPA has also confirmed the above statement to restore your maple syrup by boiling it once you have removed the mold.
Besides refrigerating your maple syrup once it is open, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association suggests that you store it in a cool place. To keep your Maple Syrup’s flavor intact and for longer, the VMSMA suggests that you store your maple syrup in the freezer.
According to StillTasty, one-hundred percent maple syrup can be kept unopened in the pantry for 12 months, and another year opened in the fridge, and one more year when frozen.
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What is Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener made from the sap of sugar maple trees.
It has been consumed for many years globally, especially in the North American region. So how is maple syrup made?
- Drill a hole in the maple tree and let the sap pour into a container
- Boil the sap until the water evaporates, then filter to remove any impurities.
It is also essential to note that there are various grades of maple syrup in terms of color. However, each country has a way of classifying this natural sweetener.
In the United States, maple syrup can either be grade A or Grade B. Grade A can be further classified into light, medium and dark amber. On the other hand, grade B is the darkest maple syrup you can ever find.
The difference between the darker syrups and the other regular syrups is that darker syrups are harvested later. Because of their (dark syrup) strong flavor, they are best suited for baking. The lighter syrup is better for foods, such as pancakes.
If you want to purchase maple syrup, please ensure that you have carefully read the labels. This ensures that you get the real maple syrup and not the flavored ones, which may contain refined sugar or other ingredients, making it unnatural.
How Long Can Maple Syrup Last?
Maple syrup can last indefinitely. Sure, you’ll come across some maple syrup with a best-by date, but this is just compliance with government regulations.
However, you need to note that maple syrup will only last indefinitely if you keep the remains closed without any damage. Once you have opened your maple syrup container, it can last for about three years, depending on the various methods, as stated by StillTasty.
While maple syrup can last longer, its quality will start to deteriorate. Its flavor will change, and it will not taste as good as it was when freshly harvested.
However, as long as you don’t mind, you can still use your maple syrup no matter what taste it has when you want to consume it. Some people worry that you’ll get sick taking maple syrup that’s reduced in quality, but this isn’t true.
How Can I Tell If Maple Syrup Is Bad?
I have previously stated that maple syrup can last indefinitely if kept closed and about three years when opened but properly stored, but how do you tell if your maple syrup is bad?
One of the common signs that your maple syrup has gone bad is when you can see mold in it.
As the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association states, you can remove the mold, boil the syrup, and transfer it into a clean container.
However, more studies are underway to confirm that this solution is 100 percent safe. There are different kinds of mold, and you cannot be sure how safe it is just to boil and use your syrup when you find mold in it.
What I recommend is that you throw it away if it smells sour or funny. Sediments at the bottom of your maple syrup container aren’t a sign that your syrup has spoiled.
Each time when you boil your maple syrup, there is sludge that forms. So if you notice that there are some residues below your syrup bottle, it means you did not filter the syrup properly after boiling or that you transferred the syrup when still hot into a container.
When determining whether your maple syrup has spoiled or has gone bad, check if there is a best-by date. Additionally, you need to keep in mind that your maple syrup could always go bad before the best-by date or stay longer after the best-by date. In other words, don’t over-rely on the best-by date indicated by the manufacturers.
Mold is the only notorious microbe that can spoil your maple syrup. Most molds found in maple syrups belong to the class wallemiomycetes, which are a hardy bunch and do not require too much water to survive. Sadly, studies are still underway to determine if they are dangerous.
Why Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?
Maple syrup has a higher moisture content, which makes it vulnerable to growing mold. However, its high sugar content decreases the chances of molds growing in it.
To make your maple syrup resistant to molds, refrigerate open bottles for up to a year. You can as well keep them in the freezer for a more extended period. As for the unopened bottles, store in the pantry for up to a year.
The mold that grows in maple syrup is non-toxic, so there’s no need to fret should you consume it accidentally. Also, you don’t have to discard your maple syrup if it gets moldy.
Instead, scrape off the mold from the affected area and bring the syrup to boil. Allow it to cool down completely, remove any floating impurities, and transfer the syrup to a clean bottle. And voila! Your syrup is safe for consumption.
To prevent the mold from recurring, keep your maple syrup in the fridge.
How Can I Store My Maple Syrup?
Store your maple syrup in a cool, dry place if it’s not open. The pantry is a better option, but a kitchen cabinet will also do.
If you already opened the bottle, make sure it’s airtight and keep refrigerated. That’s because maple syrup is all-natural and contains no preservatives. However, you can store maple syrup at room temperature if you don’t have a refrigerator.
To be on the safe side, though, label the dates you opened your syrup bottles. If you plan to keep it longer, you don’t have an option but freeze it.
You can either freeze maple syrup in glass or plastic containers as long as they are safe to use in the freezer. And because liquids expand upon freezing, it’s best to leave some headspace at the top. To thaw, use the refrigerator.
Alternatively, use the ice cube trays to freeze the maple syrup. This way, you can defrost smaller amounts at a time. Either way, freezing maple syrup is an option and not a necessity. The product has an extensive shelf life, and you will probably consume the entire bottle before it goes bad.
Related Questions About Maple Syrup
1. Is Maple Syrup Mold Dangerous?
No, some studies state that mold that grows in maple syrup is non-toxic, but more studies can confirm this. The best advice I’d give is to remove the mold, boil, filter, and transfer it into a clean container for storage. Alternatively, you can smell to confirm if the smell is sour or yeasty because that indicates that your maple syrup has gone bad.
2. Can Bacteria Grow in Maple Syrup?
No, bacteria can’t grow in maple syrup because it has extremely high sugars. Sugar can pull water out of any cell, and fungi cannot survive in maple syrup. If you want to keep any food, including maple syrup, from the mold without using the refrigerator, reduce the water activity to less than 80 percent.
3. Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Maple Syrup?
No, you cannot get sick from eating old maple syrup, but note that your old maple syrup won’t taste as good as it was when freshly harvested. Smell your maple syrup if you want to tell whether it has gone bad; yeasty smell indicates it has spoiled.
4. What Is Floating in My Pure Maple Syrup?
What could be floating in your maple syrup is a mold that some studies indicate is non-toxic. According to Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association, you can remove the mold, boil your maple syrup, then transfer it into a clean container for future use.
5. Can You Get Botulism From Maple Syrup?
No, you cannot get Botulism from maple syrup, so consuming maple syrup is very safe. Some pediatricians, however, state that maple syrup is not suitable for children under 12 months. To get more clarification, please inquire from your pediatrician.
Maple Syrup Secrets Revealed
Maple syrup can get spoiled, but very rare to happen. If you store your maple syrup properly and unopened, it will last indefinitely.
Also, you need not worry about the mold that you may see floating on the surface of your syrup. Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association suggests that you can boil and use it without any worries.
It’s now your turn. Have you used maple syrup before, and what was your experience? Have you ever spotted mold in your maple syrup? If yes, what action did you take?
Please leave a comment with any questions or experience with maple syrup – the challenges you faced and how you handled those challenges.