Our maple syrup is inspected and graded by an independent agency
Québec Maple Syrup Producers are the only maple syrup producers to have a rigorous inspection and grading process for bulk maple syrup. Working for the Inspection Division of the independent Centre ACER, quality control officers trained in organoleptic evaluation and chemical physics measurement inspect and classify all maple syrup produced in Québec. That means that (depending on the harvest) they sample, inspect, test, and grade between 200,000 and 300,000 barrels of Quebec maple syrup each year!
Quality control officers take samples from every barrel of maple syrup and perform the following tests on them.
Inspectors use a refractometer to calculate the concentration of sugar in each barrel of maple syrup. Maple producers aim for a concentration of 66° – 67° Brix when reducing raw maple sap to syrup.
Using a device called the SpectrAcer, inspectors determine whether the syrup is 100% pure, with the characteristic flavour of maple. If it does, it is approved for sale on the consumer market.
Inspectors look carefully at each sample of maple syrup for the presence of suspended matter, such as sugar crystals or carbon dioxide bubbles.
Inspectors use a spectrophotometer to measure the percentage of light that will pass through the maple syrup. That determines whether it will be classified as: Golden (Delicate taste); Amber (Rich taste); Dark (Robust taste) or; Very Dark (Strong taste).
Inspectors take a taste from every single barrel of maple syrup. That amounts to 250 samples a day, and 200,000 – 300,000 a year! Their paIates are attuned to any deficiencies in flavour. Should they find any such natural imperfection in the syrup, the barrel is assigned for processing purposes.
Inspectors ensure there are no abnormal traces of lead in the maple syrup. The threshold for such a measurement is twice as strict in Québec as in the rest of Canada.
Labelling of Maple Syrup
Once all these analyses have been carried out, the barrels are labelled accordingly and their prices are set. Buyers know what they’re getting in each and every barrel and are able to choose the type and quality of syrup they need or want.
Storing Maple Syrup
Maple syrup that is not sold immediately is pasteurized and transferred to a storage barrel, with the original barrel going back to the producer. Syrup is warehoused in the QMSP Strategic Reserve, under optimal long-term storage conditions, until it is sold.