Properties and virtues of Maple syrup
MAPLE SYRUP CONTAINS 5 TIMES MORE POLYPHENOLS THAN HONEY. A study by the University of Laval published last autumn shows that maple syrup contains around five times more polyphenols than honey, corn syrup or brown rice syrup. Polyphenols are antioxidants which help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Although the study was carried out on animals, its results confirm those of other work showing that maple syrup contains around fifty elements which are beneficial to health. The study on the nutraceutical potential of maple syrup and the discovery in the sap and the syrup, of chemicals with beneficial properties for health have been proven in recent areas of research. Recent data indicates the presence in maple sap of phenolic composites and flavonoids. Some of these compounds are recognised to have a powerful antioxidant effect. Phenolic compounds are also recognised as having organoleptic properties. Phenolic compounds. Analysis and identification of phenolic compounds and flavonoids in maple sap and syrup were carried out by a team of researchers from McGill University. In the extracts analysed, they found compounds such as catechin, p-coumaric acid as well as flavonol derivatives. The results showed a slight increase in the level of phenolic compounds during the flow season. Certain compounds identified have antioxidant properties. A recent study published in 2002 has just confirmed this. In this study, the anti-mutagenic power of maple products was also evaluated. The results show clearly that, in lab conditions, phenolic compounds extracted from maple sap and syrup have an antioxidant activity as well as an anti-mutagenic potential. These effects vary during the flow season. The antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds extracted from maple syrup is at its highest in the mid-season and is not linked to the total amount of compounds found in the extract. As for the anti-mutagenic potential, the results demonstrate that this effect depends on the chemical under study. It would seem that the anti-mutagenic activity of certain compounds in maple syrup have superior value to that of the same compounds in the sap. This could be attributed to new anti-mutagenic compounds formed while processing the sap into syrup. As with the antioxidant activity, anti-mutagenic potential may vary over the harvest period.