Quebecol, a novel phenolic compound isolated from Canadian maple syrup

Li, L.; Seeram, N.P. Quebecol, a novel phenolic compound isolated from Canadian maple syrup. Journal of Functional Foods, 2011, 3, 125-128.



The province of Quebec in Canada leads the world’s production of maple syrup, a natural sweetener obtained by thermal evaporation of sap collected from maple (Acer) species. As part of our laboratory’s detailed chemical investigation of Canadian maple syrup, a novel phenolic compound, 2,3,3-tri-(3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-propanol, assigned the common name of quebecol, was obtained. Quebecol was isolated using a combination of chromatographic methods and identified by detailed 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectral (MS) analyses. Liquid chromatography mass spectral (LC-MS) analyses revealed that quebecol is not originally present in maple sap. This observation, as well as the lack of a feasible biosynthetic pathway to explain its origin, suggests that quebecol is formed during the processing and/or extraction of maple syrup. Thus, the identification and biological evaluation of non-natural, process-derived compounds in maple syrup are warranted since such molecules may contribute towards the biological activities reported for this natural sweetener.