Food & Drink

Does Maple Syrup Expire?

Last Updated on February 29, 2024 | 0 Comments
Does maple syrup expire? Is a common question

Does maple syrup expire? This is a common question for novice and professional chefs alike due to maple syrup being commonly used in many recipes and as a topping for popular breakfast dishes like chicken and waffles or pancakes. While maple syrup does expire, in a sense, it is natural and long-lasting. 

When does pure maple syrup expire? What is the best way to store it to preserve its shelf life? This article will explore the answers to these questions and help you understand how to ensure that your maple syrup remains fresh, flavorful and safe for consumption. 


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Does Maple Syrup Go Bad?

Does maple syrup expire? Technically, no. However, all maple syrup has a shelf life of sorts. It can become moldy once opened due to airborne mold spores. Moldy syrup is not safe for consumption or very appealing. 

Can maple syrup go bad once opened? It depends on whether it is genuine or imitation maple syrup. To check, review the ingredients. Genuine maple syrup is made exclusively from the sap of maple trees. Imitation syrup contains several ingredients like corn syrup or other sweeteners and maple flavoring. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), once you open the bottle, genuine maple syrup lasts about a year refrigerated. On the other hand, imitation maple syrup lasts for years without needing refrigeration. 

Two maple-shaped bottles of maple syrup
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Does Pure Maple Syrup Expire?

Pure maple syrup does have a shelf life. According to the USDA, it is safe to keep pure maple syrup unopened in the pantry for a year, opened in the refrigerator for a year and for years when kept in the freezer.  

So, how does pure maple syrup “expire" once opened? The now-exposed sugar pulls moisture from the air. This, in turn, attracts mold spores. The mold spores cause the maple syrup to go bad even though it technically has not expired.  

Many people wonder does maple syrup expire?
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Does Unopened Maple Syrup Expire?

Maple syrup can go bad, but does unopened maple syrup expire? Technically no, but you should always follow the recommended guidelines for food safety. In this case, the prevailing advice is that unopened genuine or imitation maple syrup can be stored in the pantry for up to a year. 

This natural sweetener does not go stale. Its flavor will not significantly change in taste, texture or appearance from month to month. The sugar in maple syrup acts as a natural preservative, but it also plays a primary role in why the syrup goes bad once the bottle is opened. 

You'll find plenty of sources stating maple syrup can be safely consumed beyond a year if it's been unopened, but we don't recommend taking risks when it comes to food safety. Stick to a year when the bottle is sealed, and once you open it, it must be refrigerated. 

A bottle of amber color maple syrup
via Canva

How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?

Depending on how it is stored, does maple syrup expire? Can it truly last indefinitely? If you leave an opened bottle on the counter or store it at room temperature, mold will develop. How long is maple syrup good for? That depends on whether it is properly refrigerated after opening. As long as it is, you can continue to enjoy it for about about a year. 

Does maple syrup expire? Is something many home cooks wonder
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How To Store Maple Syrup

Does Maple Syrup Need To Be Refrigerated?

Your opened bottle of pure maple syrup needs to be refrigerated to prevent the growth of mold spores. You can store it in the refrigerator for around a year, checking at each use for any changes in consistency or mold spore growth. If you notice either of these things occur, dispose of the maple syrup.

For an even longer storage option, consider freezing your maple syrup. It will never completely harden, and freezing it makes the maple syrup safely last for years. 

A stack of pancakes with maple syrup being poured on them
via Canva

Does maple syrup expire? This is an important question for every chef to understand. Doing so helps you to maintain safe, high-quality ingredients in your kitchen.

It turns out maple syrup does expire, in a sense, as mold spores can impact the quality and safety of the bottle. It is crucial to store this natural sweetener correctly. Doing so will help protect your bottle of maple syrup so you can continue to enjoy it in your favorite brunch and breakfast recipes

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