Investigation of chemical and physical properties of Southwestern Wisconsin maple syrup
Maple syrup is produced in the early spring from February through April when maple sap runs from the maple trees. It is traditionally known that the maple syrup produced from the sap in the later season tends to have a darker color. Interestingly, although the maple syrup grading system in the United States gives lower grades and values for darker maple syrup, some consumers prefer dark syrup to light syrup. Therefore, the seasonal variation of important maple syrup parameters was investigated. The other aspect of this study was to determine whether the filtration process in maple syrup production removes some nutritional value from the product. In this research, filtered and unfiltered samples, prepared weekly during the five-week season, were compared with respect to their physical and chemical properties. It was found that the concentrations of calcium, iron, fructose and glucose tended to be higher, while sucrose tended to be lower as the season progressed. The filtration process did not seem to be a significant factor in influencing the concentrations of minerals and sugars.