You just finished your pancakes, and you open the fridge. Suddenly, a thought strikes you. ‘Do I still have that bottle of maple syrup, you wonder, ‘and if I do, has it gone bad?
Being unsure if the syrup bottle is acceptable can be a nightmare when you have already prepared the meal. That is why you should know if maple syrup can go bad, if you can store it, and if you can put this pancake sauce in an airtight container to preserve its best quality.
This article will show you how to tell if you have spoiled maple syrup and how to keep maple syrup safe all year round.
What Is A Pure Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is a gluten-free syrup that comes from the maple tree. It comes from the xylem sap of sugar maple, black maple, or red maple tree.
Pure maple syrup comes from the tree sap boiled to reduce water and concentrate sugar content.
Since pure maple syrup comes from maple sap, it is a natural sweetener. Therefore, you can find it mainly in North America and Canada. The maple sugar season starts in late winter and ends in the early spring.
This syrup comes in different colors. It also depends on the time when the sap is collected. The later producers collect it, the darker its color will be.
So, Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?
Once you find a bottle of maple syrup in your pantry or refrigerator, the real question is, ‘does maple syrup go bad?’. And the answer is always ‘yes’ if you do not store it properly and ‘no’ if you do store it properly.
So, if you stored it properly after you opened the bottle, you should not worry if the maple syrup has gone bad. However, you should worry about leaving the opened bottle in the pantry.
Unopened Bottle Of Maple Syrup
If you have unopened maple syrup, you can be at peace since it will not lose quality no matter where you keep it. It has a long shelf life whether you keep it in a cool place in the pantry, refrigerated, or appropriately stored in the freezer. Freezing maple syrup could be a good option if you do not use it often.
So, you can keep this syrup at room temperature only if you have not opened it yet. Always place it in a cool and dry area. Even a kitchen cupboard can do the job.
Maple syrup can stay fresh for a long time before you break the seal. Sugarmakers pack the syrup hot, but you should keep it in a cool place with a cold temperature.
Opened Maple Syrup
You need not worry if you have an opened syrup bottle and store it in the refrigerator or the freezer; you need not worry. Low temperatures and high levels of sugar content will preserve the syrup for a long time. Storing maple syrup in airtight plastic containers is the best bet.
If you are a maple syrup lover, never leave the bottle on the counter for a long time because it can get mold.
How Long Does The Maple Syrup Last?
Most people love adding this delicious syrup to various cooked and baked foods due to its fantastic maple flavor. However, not many are aware of how long the syrup can last.
Yes, real maple syrup can spoil, but if stored correctly, it can go on for years. It is one of the last things that will go bad in your kitchen. Maple syrup can stay fresh for several years if you keep it unopened.
It can also last a year if you store it properly once you open it. When you store it in the refrigerator, it can last more than six months. However, freezing this syrup can make it last for ages because the liquid will not freeze solid.
Sugarmakers must package it hot and above 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), although not too hot (not hotter than 195 degrees F or 90 degrees C to preserve the best syrup quality.
Storage temperature is key to syrup quality, longevity, and flavor. If they preserve the syrup at 34F, there will be no darkening of the syrup after a few months. However, if they keep it at 100F, the syrup will be almost 1.6 times darker. Also, the lighter syrup does not change in taste and flavor.
When making maple syrup, the storage containers also play a role in the darkening of this sweet product. Therefore, a clean container is crucial. Also, the container material is essential, so you should store maple syrup in a glass jar or container, plastic, and finally (if possible, never) tin.
Tin is the material that will affect maple syrup’s flavor and shelf life the most. The glass will not let air in the syrup and will not darken it as quickly as plastic. So, go with glass when you choose a container for maple syrup.
Plastic enables oxidation, letting oxygen enter the syrup. The oxygen and high temperatures speed the oxidation process and shorten the syrup’s shelf life. So, all the professionals recommend glass as the best storing alternative for maple syrup.
How Can You Know If The Sweet Syrup Has Gone Bad?
This decision is easy. It is no longer good if you notice mold appearing on the syrup surface. Even if you deal with an unopened bottle with signs of mold growth, you should throw away all the remaining maple syrup.
Another way to decide that the syrup is no longer good and replace it with white sugar or honey is its smell. If it smells sour and funny, let it go.
However, if you notice crystals (sediment) on the bottle bottom, do not mistake it for spoilage since this is not harmful. The deposit can form if the bottle sits in the fridge for a while. Crystals can also form if you boil the syrup.
Furthermore, you can notice crystals even in an unopened bottle. Yet, maple syrup with crystals is not dangerous; you can always filter it if you don’t like it.
If you add the syrup to the pancakes, but the pancakes taste weird and the flavor is different, do not hesitate to throw away the bottle. Even if you read the label carefully and it says the syrup has more time to go, it does not mean you should eat the liquid gold product.
What To Do In Case Of Mold?
Since maple syrup is a natural product, it can grow mold and lose some of its quality. Leave the syrup open for a few days in the kitchen and watch the mold form on the top. Mold is one of the microbes that most frequently help maple syrup go bad.
There are many kinds and species of mold. However, the one who most often visits maple is part of the wallemiomycetes class.
When you notice mold on this sweet delicious product, you can either through it away or try to remove the mold. Although it is questionable if mold is dangerous to eat, no one would want to try it, right?
You could skim the mold out of the surface, boil the syrup and finally put it in a clean container. That is how you can preserve at least one cup of the remaining maple syrup. Once you remove the mold with a spoon, heat the syrup at 190 degrees F for a quarter.
If you heat it for 15 minutes, it will neutralize all the fungal contamination in the syrup. However, when you heat it, do not let it boil because the minerals suspended will precipitate and make the syrup niter. Although this might not harm the flavor, it can leave the syrup with sediment stuck on the bottom of the pan.
If this happens, you can take hot water and white vinegar to remove it. However, you can always decide to throw it away if you cannot stand the thought of eating something that has mold on it.
Is Maple Syrup Gluten Free?
The 100% pure syrup is always gluten-free. The natural maple syrup is naturally gluten-free. Since nothing is added to it besides maple, you can be sure it is gluten-free despite its high sugar content.
What Is The Best Way To Store Maple Syrup?
The best way to store maple syrup is to keep it in a clean and colder place in dry areas. Both kitchen cupboards and pantries can do the trick. If you open the bottle, the best way to store it is to put it in the fridge.
Once you open the syrup bottle, you should refrigerate it to preserve its best quality. Although the sugar content in the syrup is very high, it is not high enough to keep the product at room temperature.
Can I Eat Expired Maple Syrup?
Yes, you can eat expired maple syrup if you store it correctly because the expiration label is only something the government requires. It does not mean the syrup goes terribly immediately after the labeled date.
However, if you left the jar open at room temperature and did not store it in the fridge, eating it might not be safe after a few months.
All in all, maple syrup does not go wrong if you know how to take care of it properly. However, it can quickly go bad if you leave an open bottle for a while at room temperature. You need to take care of the product if you want it to serve you longer.
Always put it in the refrigerator or the freezer to preserve its quality. Storage is vital for maple syrup with good taste, so if you want your pancakes covered with the sweet scent of maple, do not let it on the counter lingering for days.