How Long Does Maple Syrup Last? Does It Go Bad?

Unless you’re eating pancakes and waffles doused in maple syrup for breakfast every day – which sounds like heaven to us – your bottle of maple syrup will probably last you for quite some time. But you may be wondering just how long maple syrup lasts – does maple syrup go bad?

Before opening, maple syrup can last almost indefinitely, depending on how it is stored. After opening, stored in the fridge, it is best consumed within a year. In the freezer, maple syrup can last indefinitely.

We’re pleased to let you know that maple syrup potentially has a very long shelf life and can last for many years when stored correctly. The high sugar environment is not conducive to growing most molds or bacteria.

However, maple syrup can grow a certain type of mold – which most experts advise is not dangerous to consume.

Maple Syrup Shelf Life & Expiration Date

Although some store-bought maple syrups may come with best by dates, these are very rough guidelines. You’re better off checking the contents before use to determine if the syrup is still good.

  • Unopened – maple syrup, once processed and sealed in an airtight container, can last for years. If stored in an airtight glass bottle, it should be good for around four years, possibly longer; if in a plastic container, up to two years; and if stored in a can or tin, it’s only good for around six months.
  • Opened – once opened, we recommend consuming maple syrup within a year if stored in the fridge, although many people consider it good for much longer than this.
  • Frozen – maple syrup can last indefinitely in the freezer.

How To Tell If Maple Syrup Is Bad

Unless contaminated with outside substances, maple syrup won’t grow bacteria, due to the high sugar content. In the unlikely event that this happens, it will smell unpleasant and should be thrown out.

The most likely way that maple syrup will go bad is through the growth of mold. This can happen even when it is refrigerated. Mold may appear as:

  • Lumps or clumps – any lumpy areas within your maple syrup are likely to be pockets of mold.
  • Odd textures or colors on the surface will be mold.

The general consensus from major maple syrup producers and hobbyists is that the mold that grows on maple syrup is not unsafe to consume. See the below section for more information.

Can Mold On Maple Syrup Make You Sick?

Not many kinds of mold can grow in the hostile environment of maple syrup, and many fungi experts state that the mold that grows on the surface of maple syrup is a falsur mold that is not toxic to humans.

If you’re at all in doubt about mold or don’t fancy taking any chances, dispose of the moldy syrup and purchase a brand-new bottle.

We recommend the following process for re-sterilizing maple syrup.

  1. If your precious maple syrup has grown mold, you can scoop or skim the layer of mold from the surface, or strain the syrup through a cheesecloth.
  2. Pour the maple syrup into a heat-proof container.
  3. Bring it to boil on the oven with a maximum temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go above this temperature, the syrup may darken or burn.
  4. Let the syrup cool and settle, then skim the surface or strain it one more time.
  5. Wash the original container with hot soapy water and dry it thoroughly before pouring the syrup back inside for storage – preferably in the fridge or freezer.
  6. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary over the lifetime of your maple syrup.

How To Store Maple Syrup

Unopened maple syrup should be stored at or below room temperature for up to two years. Any longer than this and the color may darken and flavor deteriorates, but it is still safe to eat.

For the longest shelf life, maple syrup should be stored in glass bottles or jars with an airtight seal. Plastic containers won’t preserve it for quite so long, and tins or cans give an even shorter shelf life.

We recommend transferring any products from a tin into a glass bottle and storing them in the fridge.

Keep maple syrup out of direct sunlight – a cool, dark area such as a cupboard or pantry is ideal.

Air is the biggest threat to your delicious syrup, so make sure bottles are always tightly sealed.

Like any preserved product, once the seal is broken, maple syrup belongs in the refrigerator.

Does Maple Syrup Need To Be Refrigerated?

Unopened maple syrup does not need to be refrigerated unless you don’t have a cool area with stable temperatures to store it.

However, once opened, it is best stored in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. Bear in mind that mold can still grow in the fridge, so always check your bottle before pouring it over your waffles!

Can You Freeze Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup does very well in the freezer and can last indefinitely. If you have a good supply that you want to last the distance, freezing is a great option.

The nature of maple syrup means it won’t actually solidify when frozen – but the cold temperatures inhibit the growth of mold.

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