Maple syrup adds flavor, with benefits

by Donna Berry
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New research about maple syrup identified 54 antioxidant compounds, double the amount previously reported. These findings, reported at the American Chemical Society annual meeting by Narvindra Seeram, PhD, assistant pharmacy professor at University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, included many compounds with potential anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.

“We found a variety of polyphenols in maple syrup,” Dr. Seeram said. “It is a 1-stop shop for these beneficial compounds, several of which are also found in berries, tea, red wine and flaxseed, just to name a few.” Five of the compounds have never been identified in nature before.

The research was supported in part by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, representing more than 7,400 maple family farms and businesses. Quebec is responsible for 93% of Canadian maple syrup production and close to 80% of global maple syrup output. The first paper is being published in the April issue of Journal of Functional Foods.

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