Pure Maple Syrup Grades Explained

How Is Maple Syrup Graded?

The maple syrup grading system is built on a combination of flavor and translucence, the latter of which measures how much light is transmitted through the syrup. Darker maple syrup grades permit less light to pass through, and lighter grades of maple syrup have the highest levels of light transmission. As a general rule of thumb, the lighter maple syrup grades are produced earlier in the season when the weather is colder and the darker maple syrup grades show up later in the season when it’s warmer.

Which maple syrup grade is right for your product and manufacturing needs?

There is no such thing as the “best” grade of maple syrup. As you formulate your products and recipes, you will likely have a specific maple syrup grade that works best for your needs. Included below are some common uses for the five basic grades:

  • Grade A Golden Color, Delicate Taste Maple Syrup: This smooth flavor is one of the most delicate of all the maple syrup grades. Made earlier in the season during colder climates, this smooth maple flavor is ideal for maple cream and maple candies.
  • Grade A Amber Color, Rich Taste Maple Syrup: This maple syrup grade is slightly darker than the Golden Delicate and is known for its smooth maple flavor. This distinctive taste is produced mid-season when the temperatures start to warm. Its unique and subtle flavor is most often used for table syrup.
  • Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste Maple Syrup: As the days become warmer and longer in sugaring season, we produce this full-bodied maple syrup grade. Both the color and the maple flavor are a bit stronger and more intense than the Amber, Rich. The sugar content of the sap has dropped by now so, it takes more sap to make a gallon of syrup; hence the darker color and stronger flavors. This versatile grade, formerly know as Grade B maple syrup,  is great as a topping and for cooking. Its strong maple flavor also lends itself to meat glazes, cooking recipes, and atop of waffles, pancakes, or oatmeal.
  • Grade A Very Dark Color, Strong Taste Maple Syrup: Used primarily as a commercial ingredient, this dark syrup presents a strong maple flavor. This maple syrup grade is very popular among food manufacturers. Produced last in the sugaring season, this maple syrup is exceptionally robust. Its intense maple flavor is perfect for baking, and many food brands and chefs rely on this specific grade for recipes.
  • Processing Grade Maple Syrup: The processing grade of maple syrup is suitable as an ingredient in food products, but may contain off odors or flavors and cannot be graded as grade A. It is not permitted for retail sale. While it doesn’t meet Grade A requirements, it does meet all other maple regulations and food quality/safety guidelines, and is suitable as an ingredient in agricultural applications such as in livestock feed.

Our Proprietary “Seven-Tiered” Grading Process Ensures Consistency

Maple grade consistency is crucial to food manufacturers, chefs and private label marketers. This is why Bascom Family Farms maintains the strictest grading standards in the maple manufacturing industry.

After arriving on premises, syrup is graded and stored separately in large tanks.

While we grade maple by the basic four USDA grades, we also employ an even tougher blending and grading system. Bascom Family Farms’ “seven-tier” grading standard produces 28 maple syrup grades that ensure each manufacturer gets the exact flavor profile they need. Our “seven-tiered” maple grading standard is stringent and steadfast. It segregates the maple syrup by flavor profile and color for optimal quality assurance and consumer satisfaction. We take this extra step because maple syrup (just like wine) varies slightly from grower to grower and from region to region every year. Our unique proprietary grading process allows us to formulate those subtleties out so manufacturers, private label marketers, the world’s top chefs and leaders in the food service industry get a consistent product with the correct flavor profile every time.  In addition, all of our organic bulk maple syrup products are certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), carry the USDA organic seal, and have the Kof-K Kosher certification.

Next steps with new maple grades

You can start by right-clicking the image below and downloading this infographic:
As of August 1, 2015, Bascom Family Farms has shipped maple syrup labelled according to the new grading system. We remain committed to providing exceptional pure maple syrup products that meet your exact flavor profile needs, so we’ll be tracking the latest progress on the new maple syrup grades roll-out and posting regular updates on our blog—be sure to check back often. Additionally, we’ll be providing extensive education on these new maple syrup grade changes, so our buyers, manufacturers, chefs, and retailers can seamlessly transition to these new guidelines while maintaining product taste, label continuity, and appropriate marketing outreach.

Order Bascom Family Farms maple syrup today!

When it comes to fulfilling customized requests for your maple syrup needs, Bascom Family Farms has it covered. Our distinctive maple syrup grades are available in any volume you need. Our manufacturing and distribution facilities can handle custom packaging requests, with capabilities to heat, filter, and pack maple syrup to your specifications. Please call us at 888-266-6271 to place an order or send us an online request or inquiry here. Remember, if you need expert advice on your product or recipe formulations, we are more than happy to help. Let Bascom Family Farms be your maple source… you can count on us!