Recent studies in the US and Canada have shown Canadian maple syrup to
contain more than 20 antioxidant compounds which are known to slow cancerous
cell growth

LONGUEUIL, QC, March 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers is pleased to report on two new scientific discoveries which show that Canadian maple syrup can be good for you. These studies build on recent findings on the nutritional value of maple products, which have revealed both the antioxidant properties of maple syrup as well as the discovery of substantial quantities of abscisic acid. Abscisic acid is a phytohormone known to stimulate insulin release through pancreatic cells and to increase sensitivity of fat cells to insulin, which makes it a potent weapon against metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

The first of these new discoveries comes from the work of renowned American researcher Navindra Seeram from the University of Rhode Island. He has found 13 new antioxidant compounds which were not known to exist in syrup until now. Published reports have documented the anti-cancer, antibacterial and anti-diabetic properties of these antioxidant compounds. Dr Seeram, who was named 2009 Young Scientist of the Year by the American Chemical Society (ACS), presented his findings on Canadian maple syrup at the ACS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The second new discovery comes from findings in the article "Antioxidant Activity, Inhibition of Nitric Oxide Overproduction, and In Vitro Antiproliferative Effect of Maple Sap and Syrup from Acer Saccharum" published in the recent edition of the Journal of Medicinal Food. Cell models suggest that maple syrup can substantially slow the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate and lungs and to a lesser extent in the breast, colon and brain. In addition, it would seem that they do this more effectively than blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots. These findings are a milestone in maple research as they represent the first indication that the compounds found in maple syrup such as the antioxidant compounds found by Dr Seeram can have real physiological benefits to our health. These conclusive findings call for further research on Quebec and Canadian maple products.

These two research projects were made possible thanks to funding given by the Conseil pour le développement de l'agriculture du Québec (CDAQ). CDAQ is financed by Agriculture and AgriFood Canada. The study have also been funded by Agriculture and AgriFood Canada' support programs for science and innovation which are aimed at encouraging collaboration between the agricultural and industrial sectors, the government and universities so that new opportunities for strategic innovation are identified more quickly.

According to Marie Breton, dietician and author, "Maple products are more than simple sweeteners. Rich as they are in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, they can also be part of a healthy diet, especially as a replacement for sugar, brown sugar, honey and corn syrup. Adding syrup or maple sugar to your cooking can really help you to eat certain nutritious foods more often and others which are sometimes avoided, such as vegetables, fruit and fish."

Maple syrup is more than just an emblem, it is a product to be proud of and is part of the culture for people here. Unique and unrivalled, it is exported to more than 49 countries around the world. Naturally, this message has to be sent out to a market as important as the United States. As Serge Beaulieu, President of the FPAQ and member of the Canadian Maple Advisory Committee, explains, "As this news comes out maple products are right now part of an important public relations campaign in the US with maple syrup taking centre stage." In fact, a giant billboard in Times Square proudly displays Dr Seeram's recent findings and encourages everyone to choose maple syrup.

About the FPAQ

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers was founded in 1966 with the mission of defending and promoting the economic, social and moral interests of its 7,400 maple businesses. These men and women are working together to collectively market maple products. The quality of their work and their products has made Quebec the producer of close to 80% of today's global maple syrup output.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

For further information: For further information: Micheline Vallée, (514) 344-9528, mimivallee@videotron.ca; Source: Geneviève C. Béland, Director of Promotion and Market Development, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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