Postmedia - Scientist sour on reported benefits of maple syrup


The use of a new academic study to tout the health benefits of maple syrup -including a newly discovered compound that's been named "Quebecol" in honour of the world's No. 1 source of the pancake sweetener -has been slammed as "irresponsible" by a top Canadian authority in public science.

A U.S. researcher funded by a Quebec farming council and Canada's federal Agriculture Ministry has identified more than 50 "beneficial compounds" in pure maple syrup, a finding that Quebec's syrup producers say will launch a "new era" in the long history of the iconic Canadian liquid, driven by the "number of healthy compounds" it contains. [...]

But some of the claims surrounding the U.S. findings have drawn a sharp rebuke from Joe Schwarcz, director of the McGill University Office for Science and Society and a popular author and commentator on scientific issues.

"This study is of academic interest, and that is all," Schwarcz told Postmedia News. "To suggest that maple syrup is healthy because it contains a number of phenolic compounds is rumpled thinking that needs to be straightened out. Phenolics are not rare -they are abundant in fruits and vegetables."