Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?

Does maple syrup go bad? If you’re a fan of pancakes, waffles or any other food that can be flavoured with maple syrup products, you probably need to know the answer to this question. Many people think that maple syrup can last forever, but that’s not exactly true. There are some situations where it can grow some mold or spoil. Those unpleasant processes are mostly caused by improper storage of the product. Because of that, the first thing that we will discuss is the proper storage of maple syrup. Please take note that all the information in this article regards 100% pure maple syrup, not any other kind of maple syrup products that the syrup is only a part of. Besides, have you ever heard about Vermont? Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States[1].

How To Store Maple Syrup

As long as maple syrup is unopened, it should be stored in a dry, cool area. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the fridge, pantry is a sufficient place for an unopened container of maple syrup. Once the syrup is opened, it should be kept at low temperature because it doesn’t contain any preservatives. The refrigerator seems to be the best place possible. The best containers for maple syrup are glass or plastic ones.

Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?
(credit: mrfarmfoto)

If you’d like to store the product (both opened and unopened one) for an extended period of time, you might think about freezing it. Freezing the syrup will protect it from any kinds of mold or other microorganisms that might want to develop in it. Plastic airtight containers seem to be the best place to keep the maple syrup in the freezer. Please note that maple syrup does not freeze.

Shelf Life Of Maple Syrup

There are a lot of inaccuracies when it comes to the shelf life of maple syrup. A lot of people and some organizations[1] claim that will last indefinitely. Others report, that it won’t last fine for years. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so let’s assume that both opened and unopened maple syrup will be fine for at least a year after the production date, when stored properly. If you don’t know how to store maple syrup, please get back to the paragraph about storing maple syrup.

If you need to store maple syrup for longer, you should freeze it. When frozen it should last indefinitely. Of course not every one of us has some space in the freezer to keep there the maple syrup. If you can’t afford to keep the syrup there, you should definitely keep it in the fridge.
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All in all, it’s extremely difficult to determine exactly the shelf life of maple syrup. Because of that, even when it’s a year or two after the “use-by” or “sell-by” date of the syrup, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be fit for consumption. You should check whether it’s fine.

How to Tell If Maple Syrup Is Bad

There are some indicators that maple syrup might have gone bad. Probably the most common one is mold. The product can get moldy even if it’s stored in the fridge (of course if an opened one is stored at room temperature the process of growing mold is much faster). In contrast to most foods that, when any signs of mold appear, are to be discarded, maple syrup doesn’t have to be thrown out. MMPA[1] states that the mold is harmless and you can just “brign the syrup to a slight boil, skim the surface, and pour into a clean container and refrigerate”. Of course you can choose to discard the syrup when you discover any signs of mold and that’s fine.

Besides mold, maple syrup can ferment or have a yeasty (or any other kind of spoiled) smell. It happens very rarely, but it definitely can happen. All in all, if maple syrup doesn’t look, smell or taste right, you probably should discard it.

Maple syrup and many maple syrup products can last a long time when it’s stored properly. If it’s stored at room temperature it might grow mold or spoil in a couple of months. When it’s stored in cool conditions, it should last long time. Maple syrup has a tendency to grow mold and that process is harmless for the product. You can remove the mold and continue to consume the product. Does maple syrup go bad? It might spoil, but it’s an extremely rare situation.