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Vanilla, beef-broth compound flavor syrup.

On the eve of the annual maple syrup season, scientists have determined that the syrups flavor comes from substances also found in beef broth. In addition, the sweetness results in part from another flavor chemical, vanilla, says Robert Lindsay, a food scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He and his colleagues discovered flavor compounds called furanones in processed sap, The darker the syrup, the higher the furanone content and the more intense the flavor, up to a point, says Lindsay, Light-colored syrup costs more, but people who tasted various syrups preferred darker ones, he adds.

His group also determined that sap contains vaniIIin molecules attached to a sugar. Typical boiling frees 30 percent of these molecules, says Lindsay

But adding enzymes can actually release more, for a sweeter syrup, he adds. "My feeling is that some of this [new technology] will make it into the industry in the next five or more years:'
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Title Annotation:furanones and vanilla responsible for maple syrup flavor
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 6, 1993
Words:153
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