Detect off-flavours in your maple syrup with the COLORI Test
For Centre ACER, the beginning of 2023 marked the launch of the COLORI Test. This new tool lets maple syrup producers test for certain aspects of maple sap that can affect the quality of their maple syrup. The COLORI Test can tell you if the maple sap contains factors associated with natural off-flavours, such as bud (VR5) or sap (VR12). With this test, you can detect off-flavours even before maple syrup production begins!
This colorimetric test was developed by Jean-François Masson’s laboratory at Université de Montréal in conjunction with the Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec (PPAQ). The technology used in the COLORI Test is based partly on measuring the concentration of amino acids in maple sap. The test’s reagent changes colour when the maple sap contains a high concentration of amino acids. Measurement of this parameter is essential because it correlates directly with maple sap quality. The higher the concentration of amino acids in the maple sap, the more likely the maple syrup is to develop an off-flavour.
As the harvest season progresses, the concentration of amino acids in the sap rises, and this higher concentration is generally associated with a lesser quality syrup. Testing your sap with the COLORI Test is a way to better control your maple syrup production and make better informed economic decisions. If you can tell when the maple syrup you produce will have an off-flavour, you can decide whether to halt production. Also, testing the quality of sap from different collection lines helps you better manage your collection system and anticipate the mix of higher quality sap with sap containing factors associated with off-flavours. Special contribution of Jack Bauer, Ph.D. Technology Transfer Coordinator Of Centre Acer
Because it can be used to assess maple sap quality, the COLORI Test is a vital ally for maple syrup producers. Using this new tool will positively impact the quality of maple syrup in Quebec—and across the entire industry. Following this successful pilot year, Centre ACER plans to expand the availability of the COLORI Test to more producers next season. Stay tuned!