Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?
It’s extremely easy to forget something at the back of your cupboard or even in the fridge. In some cases, it’s a jar of jam, some butter and then there’s maple syrup. Maple syrup is a tricky one, to be honest. Most people are under the impression that it does not go bad and that is because it doesn’t. But there’s still a lot of curiosity surrounding the matter. In case you’ve been pondering on the matter, you’re definitely not alone on this one, you’d be surprised at how many people Google search ‘does maple syrup go bad’ or ‘does maple syrup need to be refrigerated’ on a regular basis. Let’s do you one better by not only providing information on that but also a little insight on how to store it, its shelf life and tell-tale signs that it has reached the end of the road.
How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?
So, let’s finally get this out of the way, does maple syrup expire? The answer to that question is no. In fact, you can stow it away on your shelf without giving it a second thought. On this front, it is very similar to honey. This can be credited to the ample amount of sugar that can be found in maple syrup (and honey) as well as its low moisture level. Thanks to that feature, detrimental bacteria have a hard time setting up shop. Make no mistake though; maple syrup and honey are still quite different in terms of shelf life. You see, there’s a case of maple syrup mold that honey just cannot relate to. Once maple syrup has been exposed to air, it tends to get moldy after a bit of time. Here comes the great news though, maple syrup mold does not affect the batch at all. So, it is still quite safe to ingest it once the mold has been taken out.
The best way to fish the mold out is to first skim off whatever is on the top. Then proceed to heat what’s left till it fully boils out. Best believe that all the spores remaining within will be completely killed off. Once the mixture left has cooled down, have another go at skimming the mold off the top. After a last reheating session, you should be good to go.
That further leads to the question, does maple syrup need to be refrigerated? As long as it is sealed shut, refrigeration does not need to be a part of the picture. In fact, it lasts a lot longer when it is not in the fridge.
Storing Maple Syrup
Yes, it has been established that maple syrup does not go bad, nevertheless, consumers should note that there is a right and wrong way to store it. Thankfully, this substance is pretty low maintenance. So, as long as it is left unopened and in a cool and dry place, it is good for an indefinite period of time. You can choose to leave it on your kitchen shelves or pantry if you have one. That story completely changes once it has been opened, at that point it is time to seal it shut and chuck it in the fridge. Why? Well, unlike most products on the market these days, maple syrup is pretty much all-natural. There are no preservatives within, so if you want it to stand a fighting chance then you need to store it in the fridge. If you are a bit wary of the refrigerator, then you could probably get away with it by leaving it tightly shut at room temperature. This is not fool-proof though, so if things go south then you probably should try storing it in the fridge.
The thing with storing it in the fridge is that it has about a year tops left, so if you want it to last a bit longer opt for freezing. Don’t just stick the jar in the fridge; look for a freezer-safe glass/plastic container to transfer the syrup into. Be sure to leave some room at the top since liquid expands when frozen. When you intend to make use of it, simply thaw it out in the refrigerator, resist the urge to pop it on the countertop since it’s a delicate process altogether. Keep in mind the fact that refrigeration is not always necessary, it’s just an option. Maple syrup can pretty much survive for a long time on its own and chances are that you will power through the entire jar/bottle before it becomes unusable.
Has Your Maple Syrup Gone Bad?
Remember that maple syrup never really goes bad per se, just keep that in mind. Nevertheless, it’s pretty obvious when maple syrup ‘goes bad’; the tell-tale signs are quite obvious. The first thing you will notice is the mold within and the methods used to manage that situation have been previously highlighted. But, for people who are a bit finicky, or simply can’t stomach that, it is probably the end of the road. Maple syrup mold is only one sign, there’s also a weird smell that is present when it starts to deteriorate. It is usually a kind of sour smell that increases as the substance further ferments; it’s hard to miss. Once that occurs, there are no two ways about it; you need to throw it out at that moment.
Now, some people often complain about particles at the bottom of the bottle or jar, this is not mold and it is not harmful either. So, there is no need for alarm if these sediments somehow turn up. This is actually a direct result of boiling your maple syrup, so there’s one reason that these suddenly form. It simply means that the substance was not properly filtered during the production process. It could also point to the fact that it was put in its bottle while still piping hot. If it still bothers you, feel free to filter it out, but keep in mind the fact that it is not harmful at all. In a nutshell, if the look, taste, and smell of the maple syrup are in order then you have nothing to worry about.