Researchers have developed a golden tongue to test the quality of maple syrup. For the test nanoparticles of gold that is red will appear blue if the syrup is below a premium grade.
Maple syrup has a history stretching back hundreds of years and is one of the oldest agriculture enterprises in the US and Canada. A finished syrup consists of 33% water and 67% sugar. On an average, 40 litres of sap is needed to produce one litre of syrup. Similar to wine the maple syrup of each farm has its own signature flavour. Again the syrup produced at the beginning of the season has a more delicate flavour. The ones produced towards the end of the season are more robust.
The new testing method was developed based on the request from producers to University of Montreal. The method similar to a pH or chlorine test for swimming pools. It uses nanoparticles (about 100th the width of a human hair) of the precious metal for testing. The presence of molecules associated with the different flavour profile causes the gold nanoparticles to clump. This causes the colour change to a deep blue.
The details are published in the Analytical Methods journal.
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