Starting in January 2014, you will start to notice some changes in the pure maple syrup aisle as new maple grades are planned to take effect. Before the transition is fully complete, you may even come across the original grades and new grades from the same maple producer side by side on the shelf. While this may seem perplexing at first, these new maple syrup grades are intended to bring positive change to the industry and its customers.
The Vermont Legislature recently approved the International Maple Syrup Institute’s proposed maple syrup grade changes. These changes apply to maple producers on the international level. Under the new system, top maple producers within separate markets (i.e. United States and Canada) will have a unified grading standard. According to the IMSI proposal, there will be two primary maple syrup grades based on flavor profiles and color. Our new Maple Syrup Grades page illustrates this more clearly, and contains references to the original grades for comparable flavors. The changes only apply to pure maple syrup, not fake or imitation products.
The new maple syrup grades will create a universal maple syrup language, provide export market continuity, and alleviate consumer confusion. Before these goals are achieved, the production process will undergo some changes. Grading maple syrup has historically been measured by translucence, or how much light is transmitted through the syrup and the corresponding flavor for the grade. As the syrups become darker, they become less translucent. The color spectrum, which has been used for decades, was built on this observation, and will be recalibrated to reflect the new maple syrup grades.
Coombs Family Farms will determine the new maple grades through a combination of new grading kits (glass bottles that have color breaks) and palette expertise. Meeting the color range is just part of the process. Grading maple syrup is more about getting the flavor exactly right for our customers. And, while the maple syrup grades will change, the same great maple flavor will stay the same.
The new terminology is straightforward and simple to understand. In fact, the new labels will provide an improved level of clarity. For example, you may enjoy lighter syrups for your pancakes or waffles, but require something more robust for dessert bread recipes or meat glazes. With the new maple grades in place, you can easily identify the best products that will satisfy all your maple needs and cravings!
Enjoying All the New Maple Syrup Grades
If you’d like to keep current on the latest information around the maple syrup grade changes, be sure to check our Coombs Family Farms Maple blog regularly for updates. If you have any specific questions on these new maple grades, we’d love to hear from you!
Coombs Family Farms maple syrup products are certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), carry the USDA organic seal, and have the Kof-K Kosher certification. With seven generations of experience under our belts, you will find superior flavor and quality in every bottle of Coombs Family Farms 100% pure maple syrup. Organic maple syrup is a healthy, delicious, and versatile sweetener and can make all your favorite meals even better. Try some today!