Info and Resources
FDA Registration of Sugarhouses
Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which granted broad new authority to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), all facilities that process food for human consumption must register with the FDA. Based on the law, boiling maple sap to create syrup is “processing” as defined by the Food Safety Modernization Act.
There are two instances where you would not need to register:
1) If all of the syrup is consumed on-site, or
2) You sell only raw, unprocessed sap
Any change made to sap, even using an RO, would trigger the definition of “processing” which would mean you would need to register your business with the FDA.
Registration is free and it is important that you be aware of businesses that ask you to pay for expediting your registration. These websites and businesses are highly deceptive and will appear similar to the FDA website. VMSMA cautions you to not pay for a registration as the registration process can be done without payment.
Registration can be accomplished either online through the FDA’s website or by submitting a hard copy form.
Information about online registration can be found HERE:
To download the form as a PDF, please click HERE:
A sample form has been created that shows the section that should be filled out for most maple syrup producers. That sample form can be found HERE but please keep in mind that this is meant to reflect the average operation and that you should pay attention to all the areas on the form as some may apply depending on your business.
The North American Maple Syrup Producers’ Manual
The 2006 North American Maple Syrup Producers’ Manual is still available. This edition contains contributions from twenty educators, researchers and maple producers from all across the maple region. Printed in full color the new manual has 329 pages and contains 13 chapters, 5 appendices and more than 150 illustrations. The information in this manual will be helpful to all producers whether you are just a beginner or an experienced maple producer or if you just want to learn more about the maple industry.
The cost for the soft cover edition is $37.50 plus shipping and 6% VT sales tax.
Contact: Mary Croft at 802-763-7435 or email about obtaining a copy of this must have reference for your maple library.
Chapters and appendices included in the manual are as follows:
- Chapter 1. Introduction
- Chapter 2. History of Maple Syrup and Sugar Production
- Chapter 3. The Maple Resource
- Chapter 4. Planning a Maple Syrup Operation
- Chapter 5. Managing Maple Trees for Sap Production
- Chapter 6. Maple Sap Production – Tapping, Collection, and Storage
- Chapter 7. Maple Syrup Production
- Chapter 8. Syrup Filtration, Grading, Packaging, and Storage
- Chapter 9. Maple Sugar, Maple Cream, Maple Candy, and Other Products
- Chapter 10. Marketing Maple Products
- Chapter 11. Economics of Maple Syrup Production
- Chapter 12. Maple Production Facilities
- Chapter 13. Safety in the Sugaring Operation
- Appendix 1. Maple Equipment Manufacturers and Sources of Information
- Appendix 2. Maple Chemistry and Quality
- Appendix 3. Determining Proportions When Adjusting Off-Density Syrup by Blending With Syrup, Water, or Sap
- Appendix 4. Identifying and Eliminating Undesirable Flavors in Maple Syrup
- Appendix 5. Sugarbush Lease Agreement
Entering Maple Syrup and Products At Fairs
The time is here when fairs and field days are starting. Here are a few tips on entering your maple products to get the best results in the contests.
Maple Syrup – the most important thing to remember is check it before you send it!! Grade your syrup as if you were the judge—check the four basics—color, clarity, density and flavor. You don’t want to be “surprised” by the sample you submit. Also, make sure you use a new container; used containers can contaminate even the best syrups.
Maple Products—this year, a significant amount of light colored syrup was made near the end of the season. This syrup usually has a high invert sugar level, meaning your products will not have the right consistency or create a small enough crystal to be rated well in the contests. Make some small test batches before you make your entry in order to be sure you are submitting your very best product.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me at 802-828-3458 or your Extension Maple Specialist.
Henry J. Marckres
Chief, Consumer Protection / VT Agency of Agriculture