URI Researcher Finds Beneficial Compounds in Pure Maple Syrup
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Navindra Seeram, an assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences in URI’s College of Pharmacy, has found more than 20 compounds in maple syrup from Canada that have been linked to human health, 13 of which are newly discovered in maple syrup. In addition, eight of the compounds have been found in the Acer (maple) family for the first time. He presented his findings at the American Chemical Society’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco earlier this year.
During his research, Seeram and his research team found phenolics, the beneficial class of anti-oxidant compounds also found in berries. Several of these anti-oxidant compounds newly identified in maple syrup are also reported to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties. Though the sap likely has low concentrations of these native phenolics, levels could spike when boiled as syrup is a highly concentrated liquid. Seeram, who specializes in medicinal plant research, has embarked on a comprehensive study of the entire maple tree.