Maple vs Pancake Syrup: Difference and Comparison

Syrups have become a very common choice, especially during breakfast to go with waffles and pancakes.

Maple syrup, chocolate syrup, pancake syrup, etc. are very easily available in the market nowadays and a very popular choice among Americans.

Though all these syrups are very sweet, the ingredients vary for each one of them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener made from the sap of maple trees, while pancake syrup is a processed, corn syrup-based product with added flavorings.
  2. Maple syrup contains more nutrients and antioxidants than pancake syrup, primarily made of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
  3. Pancake syrup is less expensive than maple syrup but needs its natural counterpart’s unique flavor and nutritional benefits.

Maple Syrup vs Pancake Syrup

Maple syrup is a sweet topping used on breakfast foods. It is made from the sap of maple trees, which is boiled down, and filtered to create the syrup. Pancake syrup, is a commercially-produced syrup that is made with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or a combination of the two.

Maple Syrup vs Pancake Syrup
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Maple syrup is a comparatively healthy alternative for sugar that has become popular, especially among vegans.

The purity of the maple syrup is very high as the extract from the maple sap is boiled and concentrated to make maple syrup. It is added as a sweetener in many dishes, beverages, and cocktails.

Pancake syrup mainly contains a high amount of corn syrup and the sugar content is also very high in this packaged food.

Various flavors are added to the pancake syrup to offer more choices to the customers. Honey is a good replacement for pancake syrup as honey has more medical benefits than pancake syrups.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMaple SyrupPancake Syrup
IngredientsIt mainly contains the concentrated liquid from the maple sap.  The main ingredients are corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup and artificial maple extract.
ProcessingThe manufacturing process of maple syrup mainly involves boiling the maple sap at a very high temperature and making it concentrated.Pancake is a highly processed product with lots of colors and flavoring agents.
Nutrition valueIt is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.The coloring in pancake syrup contains 4-MEI which is a potential carcinogen.
PurityMaple syrup contains high purity of maple sap.Pancake syrup might contain maple syrup extract but it is an artificial maple flavor most of the time.
TasteMaple syrup has a very rich and complex taste of maple sap with a hint of caramel and vanilla.Pancake syrups are simply very sweet without the richness of maple but artificial flavors are added.
LaborThe manpower required for manufacturing maple syrup is more because the sap has to be collected from the trees followed by bringing it to the sugarhouse and concentrating it in small batches.The manpower required for producing pancake syrup is much less as it is easily produced in the factory in large batches.

What is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is a versatile choice of syrup that people prefer with everything from oatmeal to waffles. It is also used in salad dressing and on top of desserts to enhance the taste of it.

Though maple syrup is very tasty that contains almost 100% pure concentrated maple sap, it should be taken into control because of the high sugar content.

The maple syrup is produced by boiling the maple sap at a very high temperature which causes the natural sugar in it to caramelize thus giving it a unique taste and texture.

There are various grades of maple syrup available in the market but these grades don’t indicate good or bad quality.

The changes in the grade are due to the color and taste of the maple syrup which further varies because of the different times of harvest.

Currently, there are four different grades of maple syrup that are also followed internationally. They are Grade A Golden Color/ Delicate Taste, Grade A Amber Color/ Rich Taste, Grade A Dark Color/ Robust Taste, and Grade A Very Dark Color/ Strong Taste.

Maple syrup, once opened should be refrigerated properly. They have a shelf life of 6 months to a year maximum. The sap for the maple syrup is collected from sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees.  

maple syrup

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What is Pancake Syrup?

Though the name pancake syrup makes you think that it can be only drizzled on pancakes, they are flexible enough to be poured on smoothies and French toasts as well.

Pancake syrups are made from corn syrup and maple extract. It is a highly processed product but the process is very simple.

Many people make their pancake syrups at home and also add many flavors to add a little more twist of taste to it.

Pancake syrups contain a very large number of calories. So, if you are regularly eating pancakes with a drizzle of pancake syrup on it, you should regularly exercise.

Substituting pancake syrup with butter is also a comparatively healthy option for breakfast. Pancake syrup also contains a very high amount of sodium approximately 230 mg in two ounces).

If the amount of sodium intake becomes excess it leads to cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.

If someone is following a low-carb diet, pancake syrup is not an ideal choice for them. The intake of carbohydrates with each ounce of pancake is high.

But, for having once in a while, pancake syrups can be easily made at home. The main ingredients needed are cornstarch, sugar, and butter.

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Main Differences Between Maple Syrup and Pancake Syrup

  1. Maple syrup mainly contains the concentrated liquid from the maple sap whereas pancake syrup contains corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup and artificial maple extract.
  2. The manufacturing process of maple syrup mainly involves boiling the maple sap and concentrating it whereas pancake syrups are highly processed products.
  3. Maple syrup has more nutritional value than pancake syrups.
  4. The purity of maple syrup (high maple sap content) is more than that of pancake syrup (artificial maple extract).
  5. Maple syrup has a much more complex taste than pancake syrups.
  6. The manpower needed for the production of maple syrup is bigger than that of pancake syrup.
Difference Between Maple Syrup and Pancake Syrup
References
  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed084p1647
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jfp/article-abstract/42/9/706/188311

Last Updated : 19 July, 2023

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