Title

Chemistry, processing, and functionality of maple food products: An updated comprehensive review

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https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13832

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Food Biochemistry

Publication Date

8-1-2021

doi

10.1111/jfbc.13832

Abstract

Maple sap is a rich nutrient matrix collected from Acer trees to produce several food products (i.e., sap, water, extract, syrup, and sugar), of which syrup is the most famous in the food industry for its distinct taste and flavor. Maple syrup is produced from the sap of several species (Acer saccharum, Acer nigrum, and Acer rubrum) of maple. Maple syrup is chiefly produced through the concentration of sap via thermal evaporation (pan evaporation) or membrane separation. Each processing technique affects the quality and characteristics of processed maple products. The chemistry of maple products is dominated by a myriad of other phytoconstituents other than sugar, that is, phenolics, to mediate for its many health benefits. The health-promoting effects of maple products included antioxidant, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative activities. This review capitalizes on maple food products focusing on their chemistry, processing, and health benefits compared with other sugar sweeteners. The impact of processing on maple syrup composition and biological effects in relation to original maple sap are further presented. Practical applications: Maple food products are natural sweeteners of significant importance due to their economic, nutritional, and health benefits. Apart from the predominant ingredient sucrose, the chemical composition of maple products comprises phenolics, pyrazines, vitamins, minerals, organic acids, and phytohormones. These bioactive compounds are of potential value owing to their health-promoting benefits, including antioxidant, antiproliferative, and antimutagenic effects. Quebecol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol are suggested as distinct markers for maple products and not common in other plant-derived syrups. Several factors, including the processing parameters and the phytochemical profile, affect maple products’ flavor and color. In addition, microbial contamination of maple sap can also affect maple product quality. Further research on the effect of processing techniques and environmental conditions on the phytochemicals profile and biological effects of maple food products should now follow. Application of other omics tools, that is, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, to understand maple syrup effects on the human body can help reveal its exact action mechanisms or points for any potential health hazards for certain ailments.

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