Last year researchers from the University of Rhode Island published a study (1) showing 23 phenolic compounds discovered in Canadian maple syrup.
News headlines touted pure maple syrup as the new super food to placed amongst other start foods such as blueberries and flax.
The same group of researchers, funded by AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), have now found a total of 34 phenolic compounds believed to be of benefit to health. Some of these compounds are the first to be discovered in nature.
One of the new compounds was named, "Quebecol", in honour of Canada's most prolific maple syrup producers. Quebecol is thought to be formed during the process of boiling down tree sap to a concentrated syrup.
Although this study shows abundant antioxidants in maple syrup, many foods contain these compounds. It should also be noted that there are no studies showing direct health benefits from consuming maple syrup so while this is interesting news, there is no evidence that supports a positive health outcome from consuming maple syrup.
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup contains 52 calories, about 10 calories less than a tablespoon of table sugar. Maple syrup tastes more sweet than refined sugar so you get more sweet for less calories.
A tablespoon of maple syrup is about 20 grams and 52 calories.
28 grams of blueberries is 16 calories.
Half a cup of blueberries is 42 calories.
Here is a good counter point to the Maple Syrup study:
Canadian scientist slams maple syrup study touting health benefits
(1) Maple syrup phytochemicals include lignans, coumar... [J Agric Food Chem. 2010] - PubMed result