(A) Grades. The following grades shall be used in classifying maple syrup:
(1) U.S. grade A is the quality of maple syrup that:
(a) Not more than 68.9 per cent solids content by weight (Brix);
(b) Has good uniform color;
(c) Has good flavor and odor, and intensity of flavor (maple taste) normally associated with the color class;
(d) Is free from off flavors and odors considered as damage;
(e) Is free from cloudiness, turbidity, sediment, and is clean; and
(f) No deviants for damage shall be allowed in grade A.
(2) Maple syrup for processing (processing grade) means any maple syrup that fails to meet the requirements of U.S. grade A, but possess good characteristic maple taste and may contain off-flavors, but is fairly free of damage, turbidity, cloudiness, and is fairly clean.
(3) Substandard is the quality of maple syrup that fails to meet the requirements of processing grade maple syrup.
(B) Color classes.
(1) The color class of maple syrup is determined by:
(a) The per cent of light transmission through the syrup as measured with a spectrophotometer using matched square optical cells having a ten mm light path at a wavelength of five hundred sixty nm. The color value is expressed as percent of light transmission as compared to analytical reagent glycerol fixed at one hundred per cent. Per cent transmission is symbolized by "%Tc."
(b) Any method that provides equivalent results. When certifying the color of a sample that has been officially drawn and which represents a specific lot of maple syrup, if the number of color deviants exceeds the acceptance number in the appropriate sampling plan, the lot should be designated as mixed color.
(c) Any commercial color determining kit that provides an analysis of clarity and color comparable to that obtained by a spectrophotometer may be used to determine the grade listed on a label; however, in any dispute over the accuracy of a grade claim, a spectrophotometer shall be used to determine grade.
(2) Color classes are associated with specific "%Tc" values as follows:
|Grade A Color Classes||Taste||Light Transmittance (%Tc)|
|U.S. Grade A Golden||Delicate||>75.0|
|U.S. Grade A Amber||Rich||50.0-74.9|
|U.S. Grade A Dark||Robust||25.0-49.9|
|U.S. Grade A Very Dark||Strong||<25.0|