Does Maple Syrup Go Bad? | Used Time And How To Store

If you’ve ever opened your refrigerator and seen a bottle of maple syrup in the back, then chances are you’ve wondered – does maple syrup go bad? Clearly it’s not one of those foods that will rot away after just a few days on the countertop, but is there still an expiration date for this sticky breakfast treat? The answer may surprise you. In this blog post, we’ll explore how long maple syrup lasts and what signs to look for to see if it has gone bad. We’ll also give tips on how to store your maple syrup properly so it stays at its peak flavor and quality until you’re ready to use it. So let’s jump right into answering the question: Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?

What Is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is a sweet, sticky liquid made from the sap of maple trees. It is commonly used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, and French toast, but can also be used in cooking and baking. Maple syrup comes in different grades and colors, ranging from light amber to dark brown. The color and flavor of the syrup depends on when it was harvested and the type of maple tree it was harvested from.

What Is Maple Syrup?

What Are The Different Types Of Maple Syrup Products?

There are four distinct grades of maple syrup—Golden, Amber, Dark, and Very Dark—each with a unique syrupy consistency. These grades are determined by the combination of color and flavor, where the flavor aligns with the respective color.

Does Maple Syrup Need To Be Refrigerated?

Maple syrup should be refrigerated after opening to prevent mold growth. If mold does develop, it can be safely removed by scooping it off the top with a spoon and discarding it.

How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?

Before opening, all maple syrup can be stored in the pantry for approximately one year. After opening, genuine maple syrup should be refrigerated and will retain its quality for about a year. Opened jugs of imitation maple syrup can be stored in the pantry for approximately one year.

How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?

Can Maple Syrup Get Moldy?

Maple syrup has the potential to develop mold if it remains unrefrigerated for an extended period. However, due to its high sugar content, the growth of mold occurs solely on the syrup’s surface and not within it. Consequently, it is advisable to refrain from discarding maple syrup, as it can be preserved.

Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?

Technically, maple syrup does not “go bad” in the traditional sense. Before opening, maple syrup can be stored in the pantry for approximately a year. However, after opening, genuine maple syrup should be refrigerated and will last about a year. As for opened jugs of imitation maple syrup, they can be stored in the pantry for around a year.

How Can I Tell If My Maple Syrup Is Gone Bad?

To determine if your maple syrup has gone bad, there are several indicators to look out for:

  • Visible Mold: Check for fuzzy, light brown, or green mold on the surface of the syrup. It may be subtle, so always inspect before using.
  • Unpleasant Smell: A bad syrup will emit sour, musty, or chocolatey odors. Trust your senses, and if it smells unusual, it’s likely spoiled.
  • Off Flavor: Maple syrup can develop off flavors, such as a cardboard, Tootsie Roll, sour, or even salty taste. If it doesn’t taste like delicious maple syrup, it’s probably not fresh anymore.

By assessing these three factors, you can easily determine if your maple syrup has gone bad.

Real Maple Syrup Care And Storage Tips

To ensure proper storage of maple syrup, refrigerate or freeze it after opening. For preserving its color and flavor, always opt for glass containers instead of plastic, even if unopened. Plastic storage can lead to darkening over time due to oxygen permeation. For more information on glass vs. plastic, click here.

If using plastic jugs, store them in a cool, dry location to maintain the syrup’s color and flavor. Repackaging maple syrup into glass bottles may be a worthwhile consideration. Refer to the section below for detailed instructions.

Thanks to its high sugar content, maple syrup is resistant to spoiling and can last indefinitely when stored correctly. However, crystals may accumulate at the bottom or mold may form on the top. Find solutions to both issues in the section below.

5 thoughts on “Does Maple Syrup Go Bad? | Used Time And How To Store”

  1. Not long in my house. It gets used for all sorts of stuff. Aside from the obvious pancakes, it’s nice to blend up with some almonds and make a spread out of. You can use it to bake with, make really excellent BBQ sauce, add it to your coffee, have it over ice cream (when snow is short supply), and make a bad ass cranberry relish for Thanksgiving, amongst other things. Right now I’m brewing some cider that’s completely “wild sugars”. I harvested the apples off feral apple trees last fall, and boiled the sap this spring. We’ll see how it comes out.
    If you mean “What’s the shelf life of maple syrup?” then it’s roughly forever if you don’t open it, and about 2 years after you open it if you keep it in the fridge. Frankly though, if you need 2 years to go through any quantity of maple syrup less than 5 gallons, you’re doing it wrong.
    Should be good for the next week or so.

  2. The reason for the old grading system was that in the old days maple syrup was used as a cheaper local substitute for expensive imported sugar. That meant that the lighter and more flavorless it was, the better, so it wouldn’t impart an unwanted maple flavor. So “Grade A” went to the lightest syrup with little flavor, “Grade B” to darker syrup with more flavor, and “Grade C” to really dark syrup.
    Today sugar is much cheaper than maple syrup, and corn syrup is cheaper still. So if you want a flavorless sweetener, you don’t want maple syrup. You only want maple syrup if you actually want maple flavor, which means that the “Grade B” stuff is the actual good stuff.
    It’s all “Grade A” now because none of it is “lower quality”, it just has different characteristics. Which means the letter grade is pointless. The grades are Golden, Amber, Dark, Very Dark, and they are all high quality. There’s no point in manufacturing low quality maple syrup, since it is a luxury product nowadays.

  3. To extend the life of liquid maple sugar keep the bottle in the fridge after it is opened otherwise it will form a mother (mold) on the surface. Even when this happens the syrup is still good after skimming. I have skimmed syrup 3 or 4 times as needed without the condiment tasting off. Did I say I usually buy it in 1 gallon containers?
    Usually when my syrup is about 4 months old or so I will dehydrate it into a sugar. I have had some sugar last over 3 years when it got lost in the back of the cabinet. The taste and consistency were still fine.

  4. The syrup should be purchased in a vacuum sealed, sterile container. If so, it will last for 1 year unopened on the shelf and then once opened will last 1 year in the refrigerator.

  5. It expires because real maple syrup has sugar and water. Microbes in the air use both to reproduce. “Pancake syrup” usually has too high of a sugar content and thus not enough water content for it to grow. Maple sugar won’t expire for similar reasons.

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