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Canada Amends Maple Products Regulations

On 31 December 2014, the Canadian government issued a notification regarding the amendment of their Maple Product Regulations.[1] This was done because the colour and grading standards of the maple product regulation did not align with the standards/regulations from Ontario, Quebec and the United States (US). Additionally, there has been some consumer confusion over the naming of some maple products, such as “light maple syrup” which some consumers took as meaning lower in calories, as opposed to light in colour.

Harmonisation of maple syrup standards with the US

Canada and US producers are the world suppliers of maple syrup. Canada exports 59% of its maple syrup production to the US. Harmonisation of the standards, while protecting the integrity of maple products, should also result in a positive impact on trade.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has three grade names (US Grade A, US Grade B for Reprocessing, Substandard) for maple products. In addition, it has three colour standards for US Grade A products, Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber. There are no colour standards for the other grades.

Prior to this update, Canada had three grade names (Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2, Canada No. 3), as well as colour standards of Extra Light, Light and Medium for Canada No.1, Amber for Canada No. 2 and Dark for Canada No. 3. The new regulation will have Canada Grade A and Canada Processing Grade, plus four colour standards under Canada Grade A: Golden (Delicate Taste), Amber (Rich Taste), Dark (Robust Taste) and Very Dark (Strong Taste).

Determination of the colour is based on light transmission utilising a spectrophotometer with matched square optical cells having a 10 mm light path at a wavelength of 560 nm. The colour values are expressed in the percentage of light transmission as compared to AR (Guaranteed Analytical Grade Reagent) glycerol which is fixed at 100 per cent transmission. Comparable methods are also allowed.

 “Canada Grade A” maple syrup shall be regarded as in a colour class set out in Column I of the table, if its percentage of light transmission is that set out in Column II.

Table: Maple syrup color grading
Table: Maple syrup color grading

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. We continually invest in our world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality. For further information please visit our website http://www.sgs.com/en/Agriculture-Food/Food.aspx.

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg.hk@sgs.com for enquiries or visit http://www.sgsgroup.com.hk/.

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