Molecule of the Week
July 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 quebecol. They believe that quebecol does not exist in the sap but is formed during syrup production.
At the spring 2014 ACS National Meeting, several researchers discussed their work on the possible health effects of polyphenols like quebecol that were isolated from maple syrup. For example, postdocs T. Yuan and Y. Zheng in Seeram’s group reported that some sap and syrup extracts show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. And K. Abe at the Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology (Japan) fed mice extracts that had different polyphenol levels and found that gene expression related to metabolism and insulin sensitivity was altered.