Isotopes and Maple Syrup

I thought that this article was interesting, discussing this recent paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry. The analysis revealed that the relative amount of carbon-13 in maple syrup have gone down since the 1970s, which they attribute to changing isotopic signatures from fossil fuel burning in the atmosphere. Discussion and implications for the food industry in the article.

3 responses to “Isotopes and Maple Syrup

  1. The related article I found far more interesting was the recent study that found forests were growing faster to the tune of two tons per acre.

    http://sercblog.si.edu/?p=466

    Do the environmentally conscious thing and buy a Hummer.

  2. http://www.cara.psu.edu/about/publications/Maple_syrup.pdf

    Although the above article is about 10 years old, the general conclusion is that the Maple Syrup business is shifting northward. This is mostly due to climate changes and how it affects both syrup production and tree health.

    Conclusion from the article:

    The maple syrup industry in the US has exhibited a dramatic
    decline since early in the 20th century. This decline is due to
    many factors, including climate. Over the past thirty years,
    the Canadian Maple industry has shown a dramatic increase
    also due to many factors, including climate. Most disturbing
    are the results of ecological modeling efforts that show the
    changes in climate could potentially extirpate the sugar
    maple within New England. The maple syrup industry is an
    important part of New England character, way-of-life, and
    economy that, because it is highly dependent upon prevailing
    climatic conditions, may be irreparably altered under a
    changing climate.

  3. Pingback: I wonder if that is why maple syrup tastes better? « A Man With A Ph.D.

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