Skip Navigation

Bulletin #7038, Maple Syrup Quality Control Manual - Appendix

Print Friendly

01-001 Department Of Agriculture, Food & Rural Resources—Division Of Regulations

Chapter 347: Maple Syrup Processing

Summary: The purpose of this chapter is to set forth standards for licensing and regulations for maple syrup processing.

1. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter and unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words shall have the following meanings.

A. “Adequate” means that which is needed to accomplish the intended purpose in keeping with good public health practice.

B. “Maple Syrup” means the liquid food derived by concentration and heat treatment of the sap of the maple trees (Acer) or by solution in water of maple sugar (maple concentrate) made from such sap. The solids content of the finished maple syrup shall not be less than 66% (sixty-six percent) or more than 69% (sixty-nine percent) by weight (in Brix units) at 68° Fahrenheit. Alternatively, the word “syrup” may be spelled “sirup” or “sirop”.

C. “Department” means the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food And Rural Resources.

D. “Food contact surfaces” means those surfaces of equipment and utensils with which maple syrup comes in contact.

E. “Plant” means the building or buildings or parts thereof, used for the manufacturing, processing, packaging, labeling or holding of maple syrup within the State of Maine.

2. Premises

A. The grounds of the outer premises of the maple syrup plant shall be reasonably clean.

B. Sewage and waste water shall be disposed of sufficiently far from the premises so as not to pose a risk of contamination.

3. Plant Construction and Design

A. The plant is to have a roof to protect evaporator from the elements and condensation.

B. The fire shall be vented so as to prevent smoke and ashes from contaminating the syrup.

4. Equipment and Utensils

A. Equipment and utensils shall be adequate for their intended use.

B. Equipment shall be designed to prevent food contamination.

C. Light bulbs, fixtures, or other glass suspended over exposed food in any step of preparation, shall be of the safety type or otherwise protected to prevent food contamination in case of breakage.

D. Equipment shall be kept in a clean, sanitary condition at all times and sufficiently free from rust so as not to pose a risk of product contamination.

E. Only new containers shall be used for finished product.

5. Sanitary Facilities and Controls

A. The water supply shall be ample for all operations and shall be obtained from a potable public or private supply. Private water supplies shall be tested yearly.

B. All utensils and product contact surfaces of equipment used in the plant shall be cleaned prior to use and following any interruption during which such utensils and contact surfaces may have become contaminated.

C. Handwashing facilities shall be available.

D. The pipeline tube shall be cleaned with a 5% chlorine solution and rinsed prior to use and following any interruption during which the tube may have become contaminated.

6. Labeling

A. Each container shall bear;

1. The name of the product.

2. Contents by volume.

3. Name and address of manufacturer or distributor and zip code.

4. The grade of the product, as determined in accordance with 01-001 Code of Maine Regulations, §892-A. Official grade standards for maple syrup (Official Standards for Maple Syrup Grades).

7. Personnel

A. No person suffering from any communicable or contagious disease shall be employed in or about an establishment where maple syrup is manufactured.

B. Personnel shall wear clean outer garments when working in the processing areas.

C. No tobacco shall be used in any form in the plant.

8. Licensing

A. Application and Fee. Application for approval for Maple Syrup Processing Plants shall be filed annually with the Department of Agriculture, Food And Rural Resources. A license fee of $15.00 shall accompany each application if more than 15 gallons of Maple Syrup is manufactured, processed, packaged, or held for sale by the applicant. A license fee of $1.00 shall accompany each application if 15 gallons or less is manufactured, processed, packaged or held for sale by the applicant. In order to allow for the staggering of license expiration dates, initial licenses may be issued for a period exceeding twelve months. In such cases, the initial license fee shall be increased in proportion to length of the license period.

B. Inspection and Issuance. Before a license is issued or renewed the Department shall inspect the premises of the applicant.

The Commissioner shall, within 30 days following receipt of application, issue a license to operate any Maple Syrup Processing Plant which is found to comply with 22 M.R.S.A., Chapter 551, Subchapter I and the provisions of this chapter. When any such applicant, upon inspection by the Commissioner, is found not to meet such requirements, the Commissioner is authorized to issue either a temporary license for a specified period not to exceed 90 days, during which time corrections specified by the Commissioner shall be made by the applicant for compliance or a conditional license setting forth conditions which shall be met by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Commissioner.

Statutory Authority: 10 MRSA § 2625, 22 MRSA §§ 2153, 2154, 2167, 2168 and 2169

Effective Date: January 25, 1983

Effective Date (Electronic Conversion): May 4, 1996

01-001 Department Of Agriculture, Food & Rural Resource—Division Of Grading Services

Chapter 117: Official Standard For Maple Syrup Grades

Summary: The purpose of this chapter is to establish official standards for grading maple syrup in the State.

1. Definitions

A. Buddy Flavor/Buddiness. Buddy flavor or buddiness means the unpleasant flavor characteristic of syrup made from sap collected from maple trees as they come out of dormancy.

B. Clean. Clean means that the syrup shall be practically free from foreign material such as pieces of bark, soot, dust, or dirt.

C. Cloudiness. Cloudiness means the presence, in suspension, of fine particles of mineral matter, such as malate of lime, niter, sugar sand, calcium malate, or other substances that detract from the clearness of the syrup.

D. Color. Color has reference to the color of maple syrup when examined by means of the U.S.D.A. permanent glass color standards for maple syrup. The color standards are available only from the approved supplier under a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

E. Consumer Size Container. Consumer size container means a container which has a volume capacity of less than one gallon, as determined when the liquid is 68° F. Consumer size containers include, but are not limited to, quart, pint and fluid ounce subdivisions of the gallon.

G. Fairly Good Color. Fairly good color means that the syrup color is darker in color than the U.S.D.A. Dark Amber Glass Color standard, but is not off-color for any reason.

H. Good Color. Good color means that the syrup color is bright and typical of maple syrup prepared from sound, properly gathered sap.

I. Maple Sugar. Maple sugar means sugar made exclusively by the evaporation of pure maple syrup or pure maple sap.

J. Maple Syrup. Maple syrup means the liquid food derived by concentration and heat treatment of the sap of the maple trees (Acer) or by solution in water of maple sugar (maple concentrate) made from such sap. The solids content of the finished maple syrup shall not be less than 66% (sixty six percent) by weight (brix) at 680 Fahrenheit. Alternatively, the word “syrup” may be spelled “sirup.”

K. Serious Damage. Serious damage means any defect that seriously affects the edibility or market value of the syrup. Badly scorched syrup, buddy syrup, fermented syrup, or syrup that has any distasteful foreign flavor or disagreeable odor shall be considered as seriously damaged.

L. U.S. Department of Agriculture Color Standard. U.S. Department of Agriculture Color Standard means the official U.S. Department of Agriculture Permanent Glass Color Standards for Maple Sirup.

2. Grade Nomenclature

Grade nomenclature may be prefixed-with the name of the state of manufacture or the letters “U.S.” or words “United States” where applicable.

3. Determining the Grade of a Lot

The grade of a lot of maple syrup covered by these standards is determined by the procedures set forth in the “Regulations Governing Inspection and Certification of Processed Fruits and Vegetables, Processed Products Thereof, and Certain Other Processed Food Products” (7 C.F.R. 2852.1 through 2852.83); PROVIDED:

(1) When certifying the color of a sample that has been officially drawn and which represents a specific lot of maple syrup, the lot shall be considered as being of one color if the number of color deviants does not exceed the acceptance number in the appropriate sampling plan. Any lot of maple syrup in which the number of color deviants exceeds the acceptance number shall be designated as a lot of “mixed color.”

(2) No deviants for “serious damage” shall be allowed in grades above substandard.

4. Transition

Containers of maple syrup sold or offered for sale for human consumption may be graded and labeled pursuant to this Chapter from the effective date of this Chapter until January 1, 1982. As of January 1, 1982, all containers of maple syrup sold or offered for sale for human consumption must be graded and labeled pursuant to this Chapter.

Authority: 7 M.R.S.A. § 892

Effective Date: April 7, 1981

Effective Date (Electronic Conversion): May 4, 1996

§892-A. Official grade standards for maple syrup

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Brix” means the scale used to measure the specific gravity of maple syrup. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

B. “Damage” means any defect that affects the color, appearance, flavor, aroma, edibility or shipping quality of maple syrup. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

C. “Light transmission” means the ability of maple syrup to transmit light as determined optically by means of a spectrophotometer. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

D. “Maple syrup” means the liquid derived by concentration and heat treatment of the sap of the maple tree. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

E. The symbol “%Tc” means the percentage of light transmission through maple syrup, measurable by a spectrophotometer using matched square optical cells having a 10-millimeter light path at a wavelength of 560 nanometers, the color values being expressed in percent of light transmission as compared to A.R. Glycerol fixed at 100% transmission. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

[1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

2. Maple syrup grades. The following grades are established as the official maple syrup grade standard for the State.

A. “Grade A Light Amber” means pure maple syrup that is free of any material other than pure, clear liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; has a color no darker than the federal Department of Agriculture’s visual color standard light amber or has a color for light transmittance not less than 75.0%Tc; has a delicately sweet, original maple flavor; and has a density of at least the equivalent of 66.0` Brix at 60` Fahrenheit Modulus 145. Grade A Light Amber maple syrup must be free of sugar crystals and may not be damaged in any way. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

B. “Grade A Medium Amber” means pure maple syrup that is free of any material other than pure, clear liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; has a color no darker than the federal Department of Agriculture’s visual color standard medium amber or has a color for light transmittance between the range of 74.9%Tc to 0.5%Tc; and may have a flavor that is more pronounced than that of Grade A Light Amber, but that is not strong or unpleasant. Grade A Medium Amber must meet the density requirement of Grade A Light Amber. Grade A Medium Amber maple syrup must be free of sugar crystals and may not be damaged in any way. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

C. “Grade A Dark Amber” means pure maple syrup that is free of any material other than pure, clear liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; has a color no darker than the federal Department of Agriculture’s visual color standard dark amber or has a color for light transmittance between the range of 60.4%Tc to 44.0%Tc; and may have a flavor that is stronger than that of Grade A Medium Amber, but that is not sharp, bitter, buddy or off-flavor. Grade A Dark Amber must meet the density requirement of Grade A Light Amber. Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup must be free of sugar crystals and may not be damaged in any way. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

D. “Grade A Extra Dark Amber” means pure maple syrup that is free of any material other than pure, clear liquid maple syrup in sanitary condition; has a color for light transmittance between the range of 43.9%Tc to 27.0%Tc; and may have a flavor stronger than Grade A Dark Amber. Grade A Extra Dark Amber must meet the density requirements of Grade A Light Amber. Grade A Extra Dark Amber maple syrup must be free of sugar crystals and may not be damaged in any way. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

E. “Commercial Grade” means pure maple syrup that is free of any material other than pure, clear liquid maple syrup in a sanitary condition; has a color for light transmittance less than 27.0%Tc; and may have a strong flavor. Commercial Grade maple syrup must be free of sugar crystals and may not be damaged in any way. Commercial Grade maple syrup may not be placed in packaged maple syrup containers and may not be sold, offered for sale or exposed for sale as packaged maple syrup. [1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]

F. Substandard” means bulk maple syrup that fails to meet the requirements of any other grade. Such syrup may not be placed in packaged maple syrup containers and may not be sold, offered for sale or exposed for sale as packaged maple syrup. [1991,

§893. Labeling of maple syrup

All containers of maple syrup sold or offered for sale for human consumption by any person, partnership, association, firm or corporation shall be labeled with the grade, the volume, name and address of the producer or packer, together with the producer’s or packer’s seal in such form as approved by the commissioner on the cap of the container which must be so affixed that the container cannot be opened until such seal is broken. Any marking which indicates pure Maine maple syrup shall be used exclusively upon pure maple syrup produced within the State of Maine and which has not been bleached or lightened in color by artificial means. [1979, c. 541, Pt. A, § 57 (amd).]

The words “Maine Maple” shall not be used alone or in combinations with other words on a label or container to designate the flavor of the contents unless all of the maple flavoring of the contents is a pure maple, produced in this State. [1967, c. 104 (new).

§894. Labeling containers

Any person, partnership, association, firm or corporation shall not sell or offer for sale in any place, or serve in any hotel, restaurant or other public eating place any maple sugar, maple confection or candy or maple syrup or any product labeled or represented as such that is in any way combined, interfused or diluted with cane or other sugars or any substance without distinctly marking, stamping or labeling the article or the package containing the same or the advertisement of or menu statement thereof with an accurate and descriptive name of such article and in the case of maple sugar and maple syrup, the percentage in which maple sugar or maple syrup enters into its composition. In case of maple confection or candy a list of the ingredients thereof shall be listed in the order of their volume. The word “maple”, “mapled”, “mapleing” and words of similar import, except as printed in the percentage statement shall not appear in any manner on the said article in which a product of maple sap is so combined, interfused or diluted, unless the word “blend” appears immediately before, after, above or below said word or words of similar import in equal prominence with the word “maple” or similar term, or unless the term “maple flavored” appears in similar fashion on the label. [1967, c. 104. (new)]

895. Advertising

Any person, partnership, association, firm or corporation, when quoting the price, shall include the grade on all flyers, newspapers, radio and television advertisements. [1967, c. 104 (new).]

§896. Exemptions

Any producer selling to another producer or packer is exempt, except if containers are labeled with a grade, the contents of that container shall meet the grade marked on that container. [1979, c. 541, Pt. A, § 58 (amd).]

898. Violations

Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of sections 891 to 898 or neglect or refuse to comply with any of the provisions required in those sections or in any way violates any of those provisions commits a civil violation for which the following forfeitures may be adjudged: [1977, c. 696, § 78 (rpr).]

1. First violation. For the first violation, a forfeiture not to exceed $100; and [1977, c. 696, § 78 (new).]

2. Subsequent violations. For each subsequent violation, a forfeiture not to exceed $200. [1977, c. 696, §78 (new).]

c. 326, §2 (new).]

[1991, c. 326, §2 (new).]


Back to Bulletin #7038, Maple Syrup Quality Control Manual