The Maple Syrup Grading System
If you have read any of our posts or recipes, it is probably obvious that the creators of this site are Canadian. I’m sure its our spelling that gave it away.
Anyways, being Canadian, one of our favourite foods is maple syrup. If we could we would put it in everything.
Our love affair with maple syrup can cause some confusion in the marketplace though, mainly with the way that maple syrup is graded. It can be very daunting, especially when different countries grade syrup using different scales and terms.
By 2017, that will all change though. North American producers will have all transitioned to a new “International Maple Syrup Grading System”. The transition may be a bit bumpy for some, but I think it will ultimately be a good thing.
We have outlined the changes below and have also translated the information into a graphic for easy reference.
You will notice that one of the grade determiners is “Light Transmission”. Hmm, all these years spent enjoying maple syrup and I never knew that was a thing. Well, it is, and it will continue to be with the new grading system.
Light Transmission is just like it sounds. It is the amount of light that is able to pass through a sample of the syrup.
The New Grades
Grade A Golden
- Produced at the very beginning of the season. It has a very pale colour and delicate flavour. Light transmission is more than 75%
- Uses: Drizzle onto pancakes, waffles, yogurt. Excellent flavour on its own
- Previously: Canada No. 1 Extra Light
- Previously: U.S. Grade A Light Amber.
Grade A Amber
- Produced mid-season, around mid-March. It has a pale amber colour and a pure, subtle taste. Light transmission is 50 – 75%
- Uses: Baking and as a beverage sweetener
- Previously: Canada No. 1 Light and No. 2 Medium
- Previously: U.S. Grade A Medium Amber or Grade A Dark Amber
Grade A Dark
- Much darker and stronger flavour. Light transmission is 25 – 50%
- Uses: Excellent in sauces and glazes or accompanying strong cheese
- Previously: Canada No.2 Amber and No. 1 Medium
- Previously: U.S. Grade A Medium Amber and/or Grade B or Grade A Extra Dark
Grade A Very Dark
- Produced at the end of the season. It is a very dark syrup commonly used by food-processing companies. Light transmission is 0 – 25%
- Uses: Best used in place of molasses
- Previously: Canada No. 3 Dark
- Previously: U.S. Grade C
Are you a maple syrup lover? How do you use maple syrup? Comment below and let us all know.