Maple Food Science

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ)

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ)

Standard Supplier 3rd November 2015

Maple Food Science

With a flavour and sweetness like no other, maple syrup makes every food taste better.

The flavours in maple syrup range from ‘delicate caramel’ to ‘bright berry’ to a distinct woodiness, making it a uniquely versatile ingredient.

Nothing compares when it comes to marrying flavours, tantalising the senses and adding that inimitable aroma to liven up your recipes. Give it a try!

It’s a good way to help the little and big kids in your life eat more of those healthy foods they may otherwise resist, like veggies, fish, tofu or milk.

A closer look at taste - The five basic taste sensations are salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami, which is Japanese for “delicious.”

Each has its own characteristics. Saltiness denotes the presence of minerals; sweetness – energy; bitterness – decomposition; sourness – acid; and umami – the presence of proteins.

While proteins have no flavour in and of themselves, the combination of glucose and amino acids during cooking creates the umami flavour.

The brain at heart of taste - The Maillard reaction is a visible chemical reaction that takes place when a food is cooked. It is a thermal reaction produced between amino acids and sugar. This is what happens to most foods that brown when heated. Taste and smell are not perceived independently by the brain, but rather blend together. That’s why our perception of taste can vary depending on the accompanying aroma. For example, the smell of strawberries or vanilla brings out sweetness, while the smell of soy sauce accentuates the salty.

The mystery of the unique taste of maple revealed - In order to make maple syrup, you have to heat it. So the Maillard reaction begins early in the production process, creating aromatic compounds that bring out the umami flavour. This is one of the reasons why maple syrup enhances the flavour of your food. We might say, then, that creating complex aromas by adding maple syrup results in complexly flavoured dishes.