Maple Syrup

Quebecol-Molecule Monday
How Sweet It Is!

Spring is almost here. Along the eastern part of the Canada-US border, it’s time to collect sap from the sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum) and make syrup.  The province of Quebec is the world’s largest maple syrup producer.

Anyone who has enjoyed pancakes or fresh fruit topped with maple syrup knows its richness and complexity has no equal.  So, it is fitting that a novel chemical compound found in maple syrup has been aptly named Quebecol.

Quebecol the Chemical

Making Maple Syrup-The Source of Quebecol
Maple Syrup is made up of approximately 2/3 sucrose or common table sugar. “Culinary experts have praised its unique flavour, although the chemistry responsible is not fully understood. (1) “.  (2)

Researchers who looked in its chemical makeup further discovered a previously unknown polyphenolic compound which was eventually named quebecol.

Resveratrol, another polyphenol, is found in grapes (red wine) & blueberries & is believed to offer some health benefits. Similarly, quebecol is purported to inhibit the growth of colon cancer & moderate the effects of Alzheimer’s but this needs further study.

Quebecol the Mobile

Art often meets science in unusual ways. The structure of quebecol has an engaging appearance as you can see in the video below. You may notice that quebecol is made up only of carbon, oxygen & hydrogen as are common sugars & are in nearly the same ratio.

You can make a molecular model of quebecol with our 3D Molecular Model Builder.  You can easily hang it as a mobile. It makes a unique gift for a budding or professional scientist.

References

  1. Wikipedia-maple syrup
  2. Maple Syrup Infographic courtesy of: Pure Canadian Maple Syrup.
Summary
Article Name
Quebecol, a polyphenolic compound found in maple syrup may offer health benefits similar to blueberries.
Description
A unique chemical compound was discovered in maple syrup. It was aptly named after the province of Quebec which is the world's largest producer.
Author
Indigo Instruments

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