Classification Back

Grading for retail sales is the responsibility of maple syrup producers

All maple syrup producers involved in retail sales, selling directly to consumers or through a third party, are responsible for classifying the maple syrup they sell in this manner.

For bulk sales (containers over 5 liters or 5 kg), maple syrup is classified by an independent firm mandated by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

Two regulations in effect 

In Canada, there are two regulations governing the grading of maple syrup:

  • Canadian federal government grading system
  • Quebec provincial government grading system

In addition to the degree of light transmission, maple syrup can be classified according to taste, clarity, and density, which must be between 66 and 68.9 Brix degrees.

Applying the two grading regulations

Sales in Quebec

Quebec maple syrup producers who sell their products in Quebec must comply with provincial regulations.

Sales outside of Quebec

Maple syrup producers and processors who export syrup to other provinces or countries must comply with Canadian regulations. They must also have a registration number, which can be procured from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Maple syrup grading system

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) jointly monitor the safety and quality of maple products in Canada.

A new grading standard came into effect on December 12, 2014.

The changes will standardize the definitions and grading systems for maple syrup in the U.S. and Canada. The new standards will modernize the system of classifying maple syrup by grade and color by adding taste descriptions.

Grade based on light transmission and quality standards

The best know way for classification is the light transmission. The degree of light transmission is measured using a spectrophotometer.

In addition to color, maple syrup is classified according to category and must meet specific quality characteristics.

This grading system divides maple syrup into two grades (Grade A and Processing Grade) and four color classes.

Canada Grade A
(for companies with a registration number that export maple syrup)

Grade A
(for companies that only sell in Quebec)


Light transmission


Logo Sirop extra-clairGolden, delicate taste 

75% and over

Is clean, healthy, and edible

Does not ferment

Has no objectionable odor or taste

Has the maple flavor characteristic of its color class

sirop_ambreAmber, rich taste

Between 50 and 74.9%

sirop_fonceDark, robust taste

Between 25 and 49.9%

sirop_tres-fonceVery dark, strong taste

25% and under


Canada Processing Grade
(for companies with a registration number that export maple syrup)

Processing Grade
(for companies that only sell in Quebec)

  • Made only from concentrated maple sap or by diluting or dissolving a maple product other than maple sap in potable water
  • Is clean, healthy, and edible
  • Has a minimum of 66% and a maximum of 68.9% soluble solids
  • Does not qualify for Grade A

Here is a poster of the grading system. It is also available in 5×7 postcards and 11×17 French posters  at 1 855 679-7021 extension 0.

The sites of the PPAQ

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