The London Free Press: Sweet! Fanshawe College student's test could save maple syrup from bad 'buddy' flavour

Think of it as a pregnancy test for maple trees.

A Fanshawe College undergraduate student is researching ways to stop a mysterious and “horrible” flavour maple syrup producers refer to as “buddy” – which tastes and smells like a burnt Tootsie Roll – from making its way into late-season maple syrup.

While the phenomenon usually occurs toward the end of the maple sugar season, if left undetected it can ruin the labour-intensive sap, making it unmarketable and causing the loss of thousands of dollars to producers of the sweet stuff.

Eloy Jose Torres Garcia, a Colombian microbiologist and biotechnology student at Fanshawe College, has been working with a research team to determine a biomarker, or chemical molecules, that give an indication that a chemical process is going to happen, in order to develop a field test that will serve as an early warning to maple syrup producers.





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