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Maple Syrup
A photo of sap collected from trees

"Maple syrup” is defined in Chapter 3715 of the Ohio Revised Code to mean, “The unadulterated liquid food derived by concentration and heat treatment of pure maple sap or by reconstituting maple sugar or maple concrete with water to a density of not less than sixty-six degrees on the brix scale at sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.

Does a maple syrup producer need to acquire a license/registration to process and package their products?

A maple syrup processor, who boils sap when a minimum of 75% of the sap used to produce the syrup is collected directly from trees by that processor, is exempt from licensing, registration and mandatory inspection.

Upon request of a voluntary inspection, contact:  Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Food Safety; 1-800-282-1955, Ext 4366.

What are the requirements for the labeling of maple syrup jars or containers?

Regardless of whether or not maple syrup is sold from home, a market or elsewhere, it must have a label (including maple syrup products gifted or traded).

  1. Statement of Identity – the common or usual name of the food product;
  2. Net Quantity of Contents – If sold ON SITE the label must declare the net weight in the U.S. Customary System (ounces), but does not need to have the weight in metric (grams).  If sold OFF SITE the label must have both (ounces and grams).
  3. Ingredient List – maple syrup is a single ingredient food; an ingredient list is not required EXCEPT when using these optional ingredients:  salt, chemical preservatives.
  4. Statement of Responsibility – the name and address of the business.

The label should be glued or “secured”, however if the jars/containers are an unusual shape and sold for a special occasion, and the label cannot be affixed, it can be attached as a card.

De-foaming agents may be used as a processing aid during manufacture.  Such de-foaming agents when used properly, being in insignificant quantities and having no function in the finished maple syrup do not need to be declared in the ingredient list.

Note:  If nutrient content claims (i.e. low fat, salt free, etc.) or health claims (i.e. may reduce heart disease) are made, the product must bear all required nutritional information in the form of the Nutrition Facts panel.  All labeling components are to comply with 21 CFR Part 101, food labeling.  The FDA Food Labelling Guide is an excellent resource of the proper labeling of food products. 

What are the requirements for new and reused packaging sanitation?

If packaging for maple syrup is to be reused it must be washed and sanitized.  Closures shall not be reused.  All packaging shall be free from rust on food contact surfaces and not contain any substances or be made from any material which could damage either the color or flavor of maple syrup.  Some new packaging materials are labeled that they were produced and maintained/stored under sanitary conditions; if they are loosely wrapped or their source is questionable, it is suggested that washing and sanitizing is done.

What are the lead tolerance levels for maple syrup?

Lead tolerance level for maple syrup Action step
0-499 Parts per billion Acceptable.  A warning letter shall be issued by the director to any producer or processor whose maple syrup lead levels are greater than 250 parts per billion but less than 500 parts per billion.
≥500 Parts per billion Maple syrup is considered adulterated in accordance with section 3715.59 of the Revised Code

  Ref:  Rule 901:3-14-01 (A). Rev. 2/2/04