(According to the studies carried out by the Institut des nutraceutiques et des aliments fonctionnels (INAF) of The University of Laval)
• Birch water contains less carbohydrate than maple water. Indeed, it has a higher carbohydrate content of 8.3 – 34.7 g/L compared with 5.7 – 10.4 g/L for yellow birch sap.
• Compared to its counterparts (honey and maple syrup), birch syrup has a much lower calorific value. 100 grams of birch syrup contains 238 calories, where maple syrup has 270 and honey has 304 calories.
• It is the same for carbohydrate content. Again, for 100 grams, birch syrup contains 57.7 grams of carbohydrate, where maple syrup has 67.22g and honey 81g.
• Birch syrup is the only one of these sweetening agents which contains fibre, at a level of 1.9g per 100g. It goes without saying that fibre is important for a healthy diet, as it aids digestion and the feeling of fullness.
• Where maple syrup contains no protein and honey contains only 0.0007g per 100g, birch syrup contains 1.12g per 100g.
• Birch syrup is very rich in calcium. It contains 868mg of it per 100g, where maple syrup and honey respectively have 73 and 4.8mg. Indeed, it provides 5% of the recommended daily intake.
• A higher percentage of ash indicates a higher mineral content in birch syrup (4.08g per 100g as opposed to 0.2 in honey and 0.545 in maple syrup).
• As regards the antioxidant capacities of birch syrup, it seems more effective than maple syrup or honey. Birch syrup has been found to be considerably richer in polyphenols (antioxidants) than honey. A portion of 100g contains around 580mg, or the equivalent of blueberries which are used as a benchmark. The ORAC value is also much higher than those of honey or maple syrup. Per 100g, it has a value of 9690%u03BCmol TE, which compares well with blueberries and cranberries, two foods known to be excellent antioxidants.