Maple Research

Explore the exciting research into Maple (syrup, sugar, sap/water, extracts), a sustainable North American agricultural crop, which has a unique chemical composition which imparts positive biological effects to its products.


Research Updates

  • Maple Foods Beyond Syrup Maple Sap Water, An Emerging Functional Beverage Webinar - Maple water is one of the newest rehydrating drinks on the market, joining the ranks of coconut water, and other “functional beverages”. Explore the science behind maple water, how it’s made, its sustainability, and its potential health benefits. This webinar will include Kate Weiler, the Co-Founder of Drink Simple, Dr, Navindra Seeram, Professor and Chair […]
  • The Rhode Islander Recipe on Drink Simple’s Blog - Named after the favorite drink of Dr. Navindra Seeram of University of Rhode Island, this drink is not only delicious, but packs a phytonutrient punch of antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols.  Dr. Seeram has studied the impressive nutrient content of both maple water and cranberries. He loves that both crops are very sustainable and native to […]
  • ‘Plant-based Botox’: maple leaf extract could spawn anti-wrinkle cream - Compounds found in maple leaves that might be a key ingredient in the next trendy anti-wrinkle cream. “We believe it could have cosmetic applications,” said University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram, who is studying the compounds called glucitol-core-containing gallotannins. GCGs appear to be able to interfere with elastase, the enzyme that breaks down the […]
  • Sweet Talk with Dr. Seeram – Maple and Human Health - The Cornell Maple Program’s Sweet Talk shares “the latest research, news, and trends in the maple industry, with various guests including other maple researchers, industry experts, and local sugarmakers.” In this podcast, Dr. Seeram talks about his maple research and maple products’ health benefits.  
  • Professor Navindra Seeram Secures $491,350 in USDA Funding for Maple Water Research and Promotion - The United States Department of Agriculture’s Acer Access and Development Program recently awarded $491,350 to Navindra Seeram, professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, College of Pharmacy for his maple water research and promotion. The funded research aims to increase consumer awareness of maple water products. More details are available through here.
  • More Than a Sweet Treat! The Dynamic Chemistry of Maple Syrup with Dr. Navindra Seeram - In this most recent interview, Dr. Navindra Seeram discusses maple chemistry and shares his ongoing research projects that aim to develop nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products from maple.  
  • The NutraIngredients-USA Editors’ choice: Navindra Seeram, PhD and the Health Benefits of Maple Syrup - The University of Rhode Island Professor Dr. Navindra Seeram has been recognized by NutraIngredients-USA as a 2020 top choice researcher, because of his groundbreaking findings of maple products and their health benefits. You can listen to Dr. Seeram’s podcast below, where he highlights some of the exciting findings his laboratory has made.         
  • Sweet Discoveries From Maple: Medicines, Beauty, and More with Dr. Navindra Seeram, PhD. - Dr. Navindra Seeram’s research group in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island is a global leader in maple health benefits research. This webinar featured his group’s research on maple sap and syrup as well as parts of the maple tree that are being explored for cosmetic and nutraceutical applications.  
  • Invited Webinar Presentation on 10/27/2020: “Sweet Discoveries from Maple” - Since May due to COVID-19 restrictions for in-person educational programming, URI Cooperative Extension has been hosting weekly educational webinars on topics of interest to Rhode Islanders. Dr. Navindra Seeram has been invited to give an educational webinar presentation entitled “Sweet Discoveries from Maple” on October 27, 2020. This webinar will feature his group’s research on maple […]
  • Our Maple Research is Featured on the American Chemical Society’s Facebook Page - One of our maple studies is just featured on the American Chemical Society’s Facebook page, and the post reads: “Happy #CanadaDay! Maple syrup is more than meets the eye. Read our 2014 article on the bioactive compounds in syrups, including some never discovered before.”    
  • NutraCast Podcast: Navindra Seeram, PhD on the Health Benefits of Maple -
  • Maple Syrup is a Sweet Story of Spring - For great flavor as well as nutritional benefits, substitute syrup for sugar when preparing family meals. Researchers have documented that maple syrup is the most nutritious common sweetener. Scientists at the University of Rhode Island describe the sticky sap as a good source of unique compounds and antioxidants that can improve immunity, reduce inflammation, prevent […]
  • 6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating - 2. Maple Syrup That’s right, Canada’s pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? “Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, […]
  • Maple: The Smarter Sweetener - Professor Navindra Seeram, Ph.D., has been studying the health benefits of maple since 2009. His research focuses on investigating medicinal plants and their derived natural products for preventive and therapeutic effects against chronic human diseases. He has studied the health benefits of several antioxidant and polyphenol-rich foods including berries, tart cherries, and pomegranates. In 2009, […]
  • Maple leaf extract could nip skin wrinkles in the bud - August 20, 2018: Maple trees are best known for their maple syrup and lovely fall foliage. But it turns out that the beauty of those leaves could be skin-deep — and that’s a good thing. Today, scientists report that an extract from the leaves may prevent wrinkles.
  • Fall Color In-Depth: Maple Trees Offer New Answers to Diabetes, Alzheimer’s - September 24, 2017: In the 1992 film Medicine Man, biochemist Robert Campbell, played by actor Sean Connery, searches for new drugs in the Amazon’s vast rainforests. There Campbell finds a cure for cancer not in the rainforest’s rare flowers – which don’t have “juju,” or the power to heal – but in an indigenous ant […]
  • Quebecol American Chemical Society Molecule of the Week - Jul 14, 2014: Most maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum). About 80% of the world’s syrup comes from Quebec, so it was natural that when N. P. Seeram and co-workers at the University of Rhode Island (Kingston) isolated a previously unknown phenolic alcohol from the syrup, they named it […]
  • 54 Beneficial Compounds Discovered in Pure Maple Syrup - March 30, 2011: University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram has discovered 34 new beneficial compounds in pure maple syrup and confirmed that 20 compounds discovered last year in preliminary research play a key role in human health. Today at the 241st American Chemical Society’s National Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. the URI assistant pharmacy professor is telling scientists from around the world that his URI team has now isolated and identified 54 beneficial compounds in pure maple syrup from Quebec, five of which have never been seen in nature.

Maple Science


Book Chapters

  • Maple Water, Chapter 58 Maple Sap - Yuan, T. and Seeram, N.P. pp. 757-764, In: Handbook of Functional Beverages and Human Health, Alasalvar, C.; Shahidi, F. (Eds). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2016. Print ISBN: 978-1-4665-9641-2. eBook ISBN: 978-1-4665-9642-9.
  • Chemical composition and biological effects of maple syrup. Chapter 18 Maple Food Products, Maple Syrup - Li, L.; Seeram, N.P. pp. 323-333. American Chemical Society (ACS) Symposium Series Volume 1093, In Emerging Trends in Dietary Components for Preventing and Combating Disease, Patil, B.; Murthy, K.N.C.; Jayaprakasha, G.K.; Seeram, N.P. (Eds), Oxford University Press, Washington DC, USA, 2012.