Does maple syrup go bad? I have an open bottle of maple syrup that says “Best if used before April 2000”. It looks okay and it smells okay…but would it be safe to use? Or should I just toss it (it’s almost full)?
It’s mostly sugar water and is more likely to ferment and turn into alcohol than it is to “go bad”.
The Food Marketing Institute says 12 months, which I think is a total crock because it says the same thing about honey.
I buy enormous jugs of both honey & maple syrup at wholesale stores, and I am quite sure I’ve been using the same bottle of maple syrup for well over 5 years (it’s a half gallon and I don’t use it for anything except the yearly thanksgiving candied yams). I found a half-full bottle of honey (still packed in a box from when I moved in to my current residence over eleven years ago). It had crystalized so I had to heat it up, but after restoring it to a liquid state, it tasted perfectly fine.
My WAG is that these liquid confections don’t spoil for the same reason that granulated sugar doesn’t: it’s virtually a mineral (crystal) in liquid form. Ants may come along and carry individual sugar grains away, but they don’t seem to be suseptible to decomposition or decay. An environment that sweet is probably too hostile for any microorganisms to survive.
If it looks OK and smells OK it’s probably OK. Maple syrup, and the modern day imitations, have enough sugar, or food grade gums etc, to reduce their effective water content to the point where nothing will grow in them. Ocassionally you might see some mold on the surface, but that’s about it. Sugar solutions will break down by converting to other sugars or oxidizing over the course of years at room temperature, but even that won’t have much affect on the taste of the syrup.
If it does happen to get moldy, you can just boil it and skim the foam off the top.
Exactly what robinh says. Your maple syrup will not go bad, even if it does get a little moldy. It will eventually become a tiny bit less sweet(barely noticeable), as the sugar will crystalize at the bottom of your container,(which by the way is most delicous thing I have ever eaten) but it doesn’t actually go bad. My uncle does sugaring in Vermont, so I have this from a first hand source.
Chaffee Farms in Montgomery center if anyone is interested.
Who is out of real maple syrup and has to ask his uncle to send him some.