Navindra Seeram of the University of Rhode Island also confirmed that 20 maple syrup compounds she discovered last year in preliminary research play a key role in human health.
"I continue to say that nature is the best chemist, and that maple syrup is becoming a champion food when it comes to the number and variety of beneficial compounds found in it," Seeram said in a statement.
"It's important to note that in our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses."
Seeram and Chong Lee, a professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island's College of the Environment and Life Sciences, found maple syrup phenolics -- the beneficial antioxidant compounds -- inhibit two carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes that are relevant to type 2 diabetes.
Among the five new compounds is Quebecol, a compound created when the Maple tree sap is boiled to create syrup.
"Quebecol has a unique chemical structure or skeleton never before identified in nature," Seeram said. "There is beneficial and interesting chemistry going on when the boiling process occurs. I believe the heat forms this unique compound."
The findings were taken at the 241st American Chemical Society's National Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.