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Is there any reason to store maple syrup in the refrigerator? It tastes better when it's a little warmer.

  • 2
    That's what microwaves are for. :-) – ceejayoz Oct 18 '10 at 15:43
  • Pull it out of the fridge first thing, before you start the pancakes/waffles/etc. I store mine in a glass syrup dispenser, topping it up as necessary (with a cleaning in between fills). – kajaco Oct 21 '10 at 15:55
26

I'll assume that you're talking about pure maple syrup in a glass container; if it's that adulterated pancake syrup then it's probably riddled with preservatives, so any advice here doesn't apply.

Pure maple syrup can and will grow mold on the surface if left in a cupboard. There are several reports of this happening, and although several of those people say that it's OK to simply strain the mold and re-boil the maple syrup, (a) I wouldn't chance it, and (b) that process is hardly any more convenient than simply taking it out of the refrigerator a half-hour earlier and letting it come up to room temperature.

Maple syrup should be stored in the refrigerator. It doesn't have to be, and it will probably take at least a year for it to grow any mold if left in the pantry. But it will last longer in the refrigerator; I've seen refrigerated jars 3+ years old without any mold.

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    +1: Mold absolutely does happen, and nothing puts you off your pancakes like pouring out a green blob on them. – Satanicpuppy Oct 18 '10 at 15:12
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    Eat more maple syrup! How can you not get through a jar in a year? If you're having trouble, your salmon needs a maple, bourbon, ginger glaze! – yossarian Oct 18 '10 at 15:22
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    @yossarian: You are speaking to a Canadian here; I go through maple syrup faster than an average American goes through ketchup. The 3+ year old bottle was not my own. ;) – Aaronut Oct 18 '10 at 15:27
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    @Aaronaut - Yes, pure maple syrup; yes, glass container. Anything else is not truly maple syrup. – Neil Fein Oct 18 '10 at 15:32
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    I just poured some maple syrup on french toast tonight, and it was moldy. I last used that bottle about 4-5 months ago. So I'll be storing it in the fridge from now on. (I'm in Mexico, where real maple syrup is impossible to find, so it's a valuable commodity for me!) – Flimzy Sep 20 '11 at 23:00
2

Items like maple syrup, honey and jam have a very high level of sugar in them. This causes a high osmotic potential which is what preserves them.

The problem when you refrigerate these types of foods is that water can condense on the surface. This will dissolve some of the sugar underneath it and lower the concentration, and therefore the osmotic potential, around it. This can be enough to allow microorganisms to grow.

As long as you are using the maple syrup up within a sensible amount of time it will not require refrigeration.

2

https://web.archive.org/web/20160312080144/http://www.vermontpuremaple.com/maple_syrup_faq.htm

Above link states that the FREEZER is best for long term storage of pure maple syrup. It is not supposed to be able to freeze solid since it is only 33-35% water.

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Maple can grow mold, but that doesn't mean it's trash. Pour it through a strainer into a pot to remove the chunks, then heat it to 180 degrees for 5-10 minutes (do not boil!!). Scrub and rinse the container and pour the syrup back in. This will kill anything lingering in your syrup, and also the bottle, without hopefully affecting its quality. If the syrup once cooled smells or tastes off, then its trash (not unhealthy per se, as anything icky is now dead, but who wants to eat offtasting syrup)

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    Do you have evidence or citations that the molds that grow on maple syrup do not create toxins which remain in the syrup through this sort of treatment? – SAJ14SAJ Feb 8 '13 at 2:47
  • Maybe it has to be 190F, see for example these storage guidelines? (This is from an anonymous suggested edit; I don't know which is right.) – Cascabel Jun 21 '13 at 16:49
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    I know this post is old, but I'm sure people still look this question up. To the poster stating to simply drain the mold and then heat syrup up on the stove: Mold can be killed in boiling water (not just hot water), BUT the spores are still very much alive and can cause sickness, possibly life threatening to those with mold allergies and asthma :(. If anything is molded throw it out. – user27234 Sep 20 '14 at 0:31

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