Although a very popular sweetener worldwide, not many people can tell if or not maple syrup goes bad, or how long it keeps at room temperature. Have you ever had any doubt about using a bottle of maple syrup you’ve kept for a long time? Does this nutritious and versatile sweetener have to be refrigerated to keep it safe?
These and other questions regarding the proper storage of maple syrup will be answered in this article. Maple syrup, interestingly, has a long shelf but should be refrigerated as soon as its bottle is opened to prevent evaporation, crystallization, and the growth of mold.
What Is Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that’s gotten from the sap of three species of maple trees – the black maple, the sugar maple, and the red maple. After it’s tapped from the trees, the sap is boiled down to get rid of most of the water content and produce the thick syrup. Today, the sweetener is popularly used with breakfast foods like waffles, toast, oatmeal, and pancakes.
How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?
Unopened maple syrup can last for a very long time, somewhat similar to natural honey, in the right conditions until you break the seal. Once opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator, where it will last for about one year. If you’re planning to hold on to it for more than a year, it would be best to store opened maple syrup in the freezer, where it will last indefinitely. Overall, you have nothing to worry about as long as your syrup is well stored.
How Long Does Maple Syrup Last in the Fridge?
Whether opened or unopened, maple syrup has a relatively long shelf life when refrigerated. Because of its high sugar content, maple syrup can last for years in the refrigerator without going bad, as long as the seal remains intact. If continuously refrigerated after opening, it should keep for up to one year.
|Maple Syrup||Room Temperature||Refrigerator||Freezer|
|Opened||1 year||1 year||Indefinitely|
|Unopened||2 years||3 – 4 years||Indefinitely|
Does Maple Syrup Have to Be Refrigerated?
Maple syrup should be refrigerated once the seal on the bottle is broken. Being the natural sweetener that it is, real maple syrup does not contain preservatives and stands the risk of developing mold or spoiling if not correctly stored. Furthermore, refrigeration can also help prevent crystallization in maple syrup by reducing evaporation. Although crystallized syrup is not essentially unsafe to consume, it can be a bit uncomfortable to consume in that form.
Can Maple Syrup Be Stored at Room Temperature?
An unopened bottle of maple syrup can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place for a couple of years without the fear of it going bad. A pantry would be a nice place to store it, away from the intense heat of cooking activities or direct sunlight.
Refrigeration is always advised after opening but opened maple syrup will also stay good for a long time if stored in a cool, dry place. If the conditions are right, you can expect it to last up to a year and probably more.
Is Maple Syrup a Good Substitute for Sugar?
Maple syrup can be a great substitute for sugar. It’s thick and has a nice consistency to it, but there’s no overwhelming indication that it’s better than sugar. When you consider the health effects, maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar. This means that it wouldn’t raise your blood sugar level as quickly as sugar would.
In addition to that, maple syrup is a bit more nutritious than your plain old sugar. It contains important minerals like magnesium and antioxidants that can fight free radicals in the body.
Overall, maple syrup is a more natural option and has more nutrients than table sugar. Nonetheless, its consumption should be regulated as it is unhealthy to consume in excessive quantities.
How to Store Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup can be stored at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen. It’s long-lasting and can stay in good condition for years in the right condition.
Store at room temperature
Note that, like many packaged foods, only unopened maple syrup should be stored at room temperature. There’s not much to this storage process. Put the syrup bottle in a cool, dry place where you can easily reach for it whenever you need it.
Much safer than storing at room temperature, refrigerating your maple syrup will preserve and elongate its shelf life, particularly when the container has been unsealed. In the fridge, evaporation is reduced, and the risk of crystallization is much lower.
If you’re considering long-term storage, freezing would be the way. In the freezer, the natural crystallization and deterioration of the maple syrup are considerably slowed down. You can store the syrup bottle directly in the freezer, and you can transfer it to a suitable plastic container if preferred. As maple syrup doesn’t freeze, you won’t have to worry about the bottle cracking.
Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?
Although a rare occurrence, maple syrup can go bad. Contrary to popular opinion that it lasts indefinitely, maple syrup will go bad if contaminants get into its container. For as long as the bottle remains sealed, you can rest assured that your maple syrup will not go bad. All you are required to do is store it in a cool, dry place.
However, once opened, it becomes predisposed to contaminants that can encourage mold growth. Once you notice mold on the surface, you have two choices. You could either get rid of the entire bottle or get rid of the mold and boil the maple syrup all over. However, mold can release some toxins into the syrup, so it might be better to get rid of the entire bottle altogether.
Maple syrup is natural and doesn’t contain preservatives. As a result, it can go bad when not refrigerated. Nonetheless, its high sugar content gives it a very long lifespan. Refrigeration is always advised, even though the syrup keeps well at room temperature. In the fridge, there’s less chance of it growing mold or crystallizing. What’s better? You can also store maple syrup in the freezer to make it last indefinitely.