You may have heard that the grading system for pure maple syrup is changing. The changes bring a standardized grading system to all maple syrup worldwide. The International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) proposed new maple syrup grades to alleviate consumer confusion—right now the United States and Canada have separate classification standards—and to provide continuity for export markets. This revised maple syrup grading system will make it easier for you to identify and buy pure maple syrup products.
What isn’t changing is our maple syrup. At Bascom Family Farms, we continue to produce and sell real maple syrup that meets our highest standards. So, if you’ve been looking for Grade B maple syrup (perhaps as recommended in the Master Cleanse diet), we recommend the new Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste.
Just what are the differences in maple syrup grades, anyway?
Real maple syrup is graded by light transmittance, or how much light passes through it. That’s it. It has nothing to do with quality (unlike beef, where “Grade A” indicates higher quality than “Grade B”) and, thanks to modern production techniques, less to do with when during the season the sap was harvested.
Was Grade B Maple Syrup Healthier?
Contrary to popular belief, no grade possesses more minerals than another. Variation from year to year, or location to location, account for the bulk of the differences in mineral makeup, much as the terroir in wine has a strong influence on flavor profile.
In addition, production techniques strongly influence the final color and grade of maple syrup. As anyone who has ever caramelized sugar knows, the longer your heat sugars, the more caramelization occurs, and the darker the color. So, the longer the sap is on the boil, the darker the color. Many modern maple syrup producers remove significant volumes of water prior to boiling through reverse osmosis. Since they start with more concentrated sap, less time is required to produce syrup, and the result is typically lighter in color.
In conclusion, the right maple syrup grade is the one whose flavor profile you prefer. If in the past you have enjoyed our Coombs Family Farm Grade B maple syrup, we recommend Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste. It is the exact same syrup you have always known and loved, produced with the same techniques and care that we have always used, just with a new name. Our seven generations of maple farming and production experience, along with our maple R&D expertise ensure that we will produce maple products to meet your exact specifications. With our consistent PH and sugar formulation assistance, flavor and color profiles, and stringent maple grade standards, your product will have the impact you’re looking for.