Ohio State University Extension http://agnr.osu.edu

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Ohio State University Extension

About Maple

The commercial production of maple products in North America occurs primarily in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. This is the geographic area of greatest abundance of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and black maple (Acer nigrum), the two most preferred and most commonly tapped maple species.

Maple syrup is sap drawn from a maple tree in late winter/early spring and is boiled to remove water and concentrate the sugars that naturally occur in the sap. All trees have sucrose (sugar) in their sap but trees from the Acer family have the highest concentration or percent of Brix.  Brix is the measurement for sugar concentration. The average concentration of sugar in the sap from a sugar maple tree is 2% Brix.

During the boiling process water is evaporated off in steam and the sugar is concentrated.  When the sugar is concentrated to between 66% Brix to 68.9% Brix it is maple syrup.

Nothing is added to "Pure Maple Syrup."  The only thing producers use in the conversion of the sap to syrup process is a defoaming agent.  This is used to aid in the boiling process.  Maple's unique flavor is a result of the boiling process.