Traditional maple syrup
Recognized around the world as a high-quality, natural product, Quebec’s maple syrup is a product whose food safety, wholesomeness and authenticity pass strict quality approval. Under the Entente relative à la gestion de l’inspection des produits de l’érable en grands contenants, the FPAQ mandated Cintech Agroalimentaire to inspect maple syrup in large containers. This quality check (classification) is done under the Act respecting the marketing of agricultural, food and fish products.
Organic maple syrup
Approximately 12% of Quebec maple syrup is certified organic, in accordance with the Act respecting reserved designations and added-value claims (R.S.Q. c. A- 20.02). This legislation provides the framework of designations attributed to agricultural and food products in order to attest (by way of specifications) to their method of production, region of production and their specific character. Organic standards determine the set-up of the sugar house, plant diversity, fertilization, pest control, tapping, collection and processing of maple water. They are implemented by syrup makers by the use of a standards manual covering all the steps in the production of maple syrup, of the maintenance and set-up of the sugar house, of the collection and storage of maple water, the processing of maple water and the cleaning of equipment, storage of the finished product and its processing into derived products.
Kosher maple syrup
In order for maple sap to become maple syrup, it must be processed (boiling the maple water), since it cannot be consumed directly upon leaving the tree.
In order to be certified as kosher, maple syrup must meet certain strict production guidelines conforming to Jewish food laws. Because no specifications exist for all Quebec’s producers of maple syrup, each production and maple grove must be individually inspected and checked by a rabbi. He assures that anything that comes into contact with the product is also kosher—from equipment to machinery, to soap used to wash the various equipment used, to the additives used which stabilize the foam during the boiling process.
Producers wishing to make kosher maple syrup, must have their production process inspected annually over an average period of one to two weeks.
To obtain additional information about certification, contact Mr. Gad Ohayon at http://www.rabbinat.qc.ca/.