The “Mother” in the Maple SyrupJulie Kennel | January 14, 2011
Sounds like an episode from Bones, but in actuality the “mother” is a food safety issue. The “mother” refers to a buildup that can form at the top of the maple syrup during storage. But what is it really? Can you skim the “mother” off the top, reboil the syrup, and continue to use it? Researchers in Extension at the University of Maine say that’s not such a good idea. They have identified that the “mother” has several microorganisms growing in the syrup, mainly Penicillium, Wallemia, Aspergillus, Trichoderma and Zygomycetes. Some of these microorganisms can produce toxins, and from a food safety standpoint, it is recommended that syrup with this growth be discarded. When in doubt, throw it out…always good advice. For additional food safety information, visit the Food Safety site sponsored by OSU Extension.