Tapping chemists to solve maple syrup’s buddy mystery

Buddy is as old as maple syrup, and it’s not friendly. This burned-Tootsie-Roll taste can ruin syrup flavour and is undetectable until sap is processed — far too late for small producers to recoup costs.

The annual cost of buddy, which the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA) estimates can reach into the millions, is a lot of liquid gold for small producers who are forced to sell buddy product at highly reduced rates. To avoid the risk, some producers stop production too early in the season, missing the opportunity to make high-quality syrup.

Femme Fit-All

That’s why Jess is on a mission to develop first-of-its-kind active workwear for women, creating an innovative, fire-retardant fabric with stretch that will form the basis for her first clothing line, set to launch in spring 2020 under her textile and clothing start-up, Jess Black Inc. Her target audience is the growing number of women choosing to work in the trades, currently pegged at four percent according to Statistics Canada’s most recent Labour Force Survey, accounting for 34,800 women.