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Does maple syrup ever spoil?

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I've had a can of maple syrup in my refrigerator for several years. I used it today to make cranberry sauce, and am now wondering if it is safe to eat.

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  1. "Ever" is a very long time, but I've never heard of maple syrup "spoiling", unless it has developed a mold of some type. I have found it to become very thick. I've held pure maple syrup for years without spoiling. I suspect that how pure it is, how it was stored, where it was stored, temperature and humidity variables during the period of storage and how long it was stored are all factors to consider in how long maple syrup might last. I am aware that sugar, like salt, can be used as a preservative because of its diffusion properties.
    Here's some info that might help you make your decision:
    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

    1. I had a bottle of maple syrup that grew mold on the surface. I just poured it into a bowl, scraped off the mold, tasted the syrup, and it was fine. That was last year and I still feel ok.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Zeldog

        If there is mold just remove it and reboil. I think that's all you have to do. It will probably thin out again.

        1. re: grouper

          I've used maple syrup that's been in the back of the cupboard or fridge for at least 5 years. If there's no mold and my husband can't smell anything evil in it, we'll eat it!

      2. As a Vermonter in the know the answer is generally no. It can grow mold, just remove it and re-boil as previously stated, store in a non-reactive container, I use glass and refigerate or freeze once opened. Use commen sense, if it taste funky, get rid of it.

        1. I would have said no, because it's high sugar, but I had a bottle of maple syrup in the cupboard for about two years... and last time I got it out to use it it had a thick skin of mold on the top. Ick! I guess maple syrup has more 'other' stuff in it than honey or golden syrup... (I never realised that it said 'refrigerate after opening' on the jar.) I wasn't game to eat it after that so I turfed it out...

          1. It can, but like cheese you just remove it. It's wetter than honey, which pretty much can be kept at a cellar temperature for millennia and not spoil, so it should be kept refrigerated once opened if you are going to use it sparingly over long periods of time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karl S

              I keep it in the cupboard and it lasts for years. It does occasionally get a little mold or get kind of slimy, but I just strain it, and it's fine. Most molds are harmless anyway -- they're esthetically unappealing (they don't look or taste good) but they won't make you sick.

            2. Thanks to the high concentration of sugar, which is an excellent preservative, maple syrup never spoils unless you dilute it for some reason (this is not true of some 'phonies' like Log Cabin. We sugared for years, and when my mother would find mold (which is able to live only on the surface of the syrup) she'd simply pour the syrup through a silk stocking adn rinse the can (I know I'm really dating myself)... NO PROBLEM!

              1. Mold, if/when it does grow on maple syrup, grows on the surface and is therefore easy to remove.

                Maple cream, however, will get shot through with mold, so you've got to be more careful with the storage.

                But who lets it last that long?

                1 Reply
                1. re: vtnewbie

                  We found some elderly maple syrup in the fridge--probably 3+ years old--in a plastic jug. There were a few 'floaties' of mold on the surface, so I poured the syrup into a Pyrex dish and watched all the mold rise to the top, where it was easily scooped out. After a half hour or so it was like new! We made some terrific pancakes for brunch last weekend, and we're alive and well. ;)