9 Ordinary Syrups and their Shelf Life

Which is your favourite syrup to drizzle on waffles? Here are 9 ordinary syrups and their shelf life.

What is a syrup?

Simply put, a syrup is any thick liquid made by reducing sugar and water. Syrups are extracted naturally from plants, flavored for culinary use or infused with medicine.

Here are 9 common syrups used for culinary purposes.

Maple syrup

Probably the mother of all syrups due to its popularity, maple syrup is obtained from sugar maple tree, a native of North America.

Sap from the tree is collected, heated and turned into a concentration through evaporation.

Maple syrup production is an ancient practice. Native Americans are synonymous for extracting it for consumption.

Pure maple syrup is graded as per sweetness and color. Nowadays, there abounds imitations of this syrup. Those are usually made from maple flavor and sugar syrup. Such imitations are popularly sold and used as condiments.

Pure, organic maple syrup is nutritionally loaded with: Manganese, riboflavin, zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

How long does pure maple syrup last? (In the pantry)

Store unopened maple syrup stored in a glass bottle. It keeps well in a cool, dry area, away from direct sunlight. When well stored, it lasts for 4 years.

However, after 2 years, maple syrup starts to lose color. As such, freezing is ideal. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 8 months.

Caramel syrup

This type can be used to describe several variations. For instance, there is one variety that is commonly served with coffee.

When making caramel syrup for coffee, prepare the usual sugar syrup. However, don’t leave it to thicken. Add flavors like vanilla and salt. It has a runny consistency. On the other hand, the other type of caramel syrup is more technical. It has more ingredients, is creamier and thicker. Ingredients used include: butter, sugar, whipping cream and flavorings.

Melt and heat butter and sugar until caramelised. Afterwards, add whipping cream. Some common variations of this include salted caramel and crème caramel syrup.

Salted or creme caramel syrup is popularly used in desserts or poured over pancakes, waffles and sweet treats.

How long does homemade caramel syrup last?

Unlike commercially packaged syrups, homemade ones have a shorter shelf life. This is especially if they lack preservatives. As such, refrigerate and utilize within 3 months.

Golden syrup

This type of syrup is popularly known as treacle. It is made when cane sugar is in the process of being refined. However, you can make it from molasses or unrefined sugar. Other ingredients used are water and an acid such as lemon juice.

Golden syrup is thick and is either light or dark. It is popularly used by manufacturers to sweeten processed foods. It also makes a regular appearance in desserts and baked items.

Shelf life of commercially packaged golden syrup

This type comes with a printed date. However, it keeps well for 2 years after the printed date lapses.

Corn syrup

This syrup is made by extracted glucose found in corn starch. Hence, it also goes by the name glucose syrup. After processing, the end result is a thick, viscous, sticky syrup which varies in shade.

Corn syrup has a derivative – high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is a liquid artificial sweetener. Most commercially made drinks, confectioneries, processed foods, desserts and candies contain these two.

How long does corn syrup last?

Unopened bottles keep well in the pantry, away from direct heat and light. It keeps well for 6 months. On the other hand, opened corn syrup remains usable for up to 4 months.

Agave syrup

You know it as agave nectar. This variety is derived from the sap of agave plant, which is indigenous to deserts. Leaves are first cut off, leaving the fina (core) which has the sap.

Heating the sap results in a rich, thick concentrate. This is then filtered and packaged as the sweet, golden agave syrup/nectar. It works as a sweetener and condiment.

Shelf life of commercially packaged agave syrup

You can safely use agave syrup 2 years past its printed date. Store in the pantry, in a cool, dry place.

Cane syrup

This is made by boiling cane juice until it becomes concentrated. Cane syrup is thick, with a caramel flavor.

It has a golden, dark hue and resembles molasses, albeit a lighter version. Cane syrup is a popular sweetener, condiment as well as a substitute in numerous recipes.

How long does cane syrup last?

Unopened cane syrup remains in good quality for 2 years. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 1 year.

Flavoured syrups

Flavored infused syrups are simple sugar syrups with added flavor – which can either be natural or artificial.

Commonly used flavors are normally obtained from: fruits, herbs, confectioneries, grains, nuts, edible flowers as well as spices.

Examples include: Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, hazelnut, rice, mint, rosemary, lemon, basil, lavender, berries, coffee, marshmallows, peach, peppermint, almond, ginger and coconut.

Truth be told, you can flavor using any edible stuff under the sun.

How long does chocolate syrup last?

Commercially bought chocolate syrup is great for up to 3 years. Once opened, refrigerate for up to 2 years. As for homemade version, use within 6 months.

Honey

Honey is highly valued for its versatility. It is no wonder that honey fits in among syrups. As a syrup, you can drizzle honey on breakfast items such as: Pancakes, waffles, cereal bowls, fruits and yogurt. Also use it for sweetening drinks.

It is considered the healthier option to table sugar. Since antiquity, honey has graced people’s tables and pantries for countless reasons – as food, medicine as well as beauty.

Does honey expire?

Out of these 9 ordinary syrups and their shelf life, honey has the longest life. In fact, it lasts indefinitely. However, there are several factors which renders it impotent:

  • Air
  • Moisture
  • Direct sunlight

It can crystallize and change color.

Molasses

Molasses is a naturally occurring crude by-product. You known it as black treacle. Molasses is obtained during sugar or beet processing.

Black treacle is synonymous for its thick, glossy black/brown appearance. However, this can vary due to grading. Molasses is graded according to:

  • extraction method
  • sugar content.
  • age of plant used

Molasses is a popular sweetener. Additionally, incorporate it in baking the following: fruit cake, gingerbread and rich, dense cookies.

How long does molasses last?

Despite prolonged storage, molasses retains its color and texture. As such, safely use after 2 years.

How do spoiled syrups look like?

Although not as perishable as fresh fruits or meat, syrups lose potency after a few years. Replace your bottles when you notice the following:

  • Change in color
  • Off-odor
  • Mold floating on surface

Knowing the above 9 ordinary syrups and their shelf life is essential. More so if they make a regular appearance on your pantry.

Leave a Comment