Does Maple Syrup Go Bad? Shelf Life of Maple Syrup and Tips to Keep It Fresh
Does maple syrup go bad? No, it doesn’t. It can develop mold or crystallize, but that’s not a definitive sign of a spoiled maple syrup. Let’s look at the shelf life of pure maple syrup, the reason for its long shelf life and how it’s safe to consume your syrup—even when mold develops.
Maple syrup is famous as the perfect companion for pancakes, waffles, and toast. It’s also commonly used as an additional sweetener for granolas and other oatmeal dishes.
And if you’re out of honey, maple syrup is your perfect alternative. It has a thinner texture and a “woodsy” flavor, while honey has a hint of light, almost-floral flavor.
It’s also a popular alternative for vegans, who don’t eat honey because it’s technically an animal product, coming from bees. Pure maple syrup is made from the concentrated sap of sugar maple trees. Sugarmakers boil the maple sap into syrup.
This is crucial for its shelf life. Underboiled syrup quickly spoils, while syrup boiled too long will crystallize. The perfect boil produces the shelf-stable, delicious syrup we all love.
Pancake Syrups vs. Real Maple Syrup
We all grew up with certain brands of “table syrup” we can’t do without for breakfast or dessert. Those artificial “maple-flavored” pancake syrups are made from unhealthy ingredients. Real, pure maple syrup is made directly from the concentrated sap of sugar maple trees.
If you want real maple, examine the ingredients indicated on the label or packaging. Real maple syrup has only one ingredient, while pancake syrup can have more than 10, including corn syrup, caramel coloring, and sodium hexametaphosphate for texture.
Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?
Mold can develop on maple syrup when opened. However, it’s not a sign of spoilage. The mold we commonly find in our maple syrups are falsur mold, and while they’re unpleasant to the eyes, they’re not actually harmful. Pure maple syrup crystallizes when it gets old, but that’s not a sign of spoilage either.
The long shelf life of maple syrup is due to its high sugar content. Sugar acts as the syrup’s primary preserving agent by reducing its water content, thereby preventing microbial growth.
What to Do If You See Mold on Your Maple Syrup
When you see mold on the surface of your syrup, you can simply skim the top surface and boil the syrup. After boiling, cool the syrup slightly and skim the surface again.
You can also boil crystallized syrup until it returns to its original state. However, the consistency and taste of the syrup won’t be the same as before.
How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?
Opened maple syrup that has been continuously refrigerated will last for about one year after opening.
You can also freeze your syrup to extend its shelf life for an indefinite time. Store the syrup in an airtight container with at least a half-inch headspace to leave room for expansion.
Unopened maple syrup can last for an indefinite time when stored in your fridge. The cold temperature prevents mold from growing in your maple syrup.
If stored at room temperature, an unopened container of maple syrup can also last for an indefinite time, as long it’s:
- In a cool, dry place
- Tightly covered at all times
- In packaging that remains undamaged
With its indefinite shelf life, you can stock up on as much maple syrup as you need! Just make sure to store it properly. Crazy for maple syrup? These recipes with a touch of maple syrup will surely satisfy your sweet cravings!
- Avocado Toast with Bacon and Maple Syrup
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad
- Massaged Kale Salad with Pine Nuts & Dried Cranberries
You can also try these recipes using maple syrup as your honey substitute.
- Honey Cashew Squares
- Honey Lemon Chicken
- Sriracha, Tomato, and Honey Shrimp
- Sous Vide Butternut Squash Salad
- Double Strawberry Toast