Since our project aims to be a solution in the maple syrup industry, it was designed to be safe both for the lab and for the environment. Ideally, the result of the enzymatic treatment that we proposed should return to the alimentation industry for it to retain much of its value to benefit to industry and the maple producer. To do so, we discussed with the MAPAQ, which is the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food of Quebec, to know if there is any potential for the transformed ropy maple syrup to return into the alimentation. Since there is a reform of the laws around maple syrup, they could not infirm or confirm but took our proposition into account. For further details see the human practices page. The final decision will be made according to the recommendation of the different entities in Canada regulating, legislating, and approving maple syrup and its derived products. We contacted them and will be working on making our solution into something edible.

Even though our dextranases come from risk group 1 microorganisms, Streptococcus mutans and Gelidibacter algens, we are not using these organisms directly, only their sequences. The sequences for the dextranases recombined into a pET28a expression vector and then expressed in Escherichia coli DH5a and BL21. The pET28a vector contains a kanamycin resistance gene as a selection parameter. This represents a risk as if it escapes, it could propagate the resistance to kanamycin. Therefore, this would contribute to the phenomenon of acquired antibiotic resistance. Rigorous waste management is applied to prevent the contamination of the environment.

All the experiments performed were standard: bacterial cloning and DNA extraction, kinetic experiments on our enzyme, and rheology analysis. Among the protocols we applied, we used ethidium bromide. Ethidium bromide is a known carcinogenic and mutagenic chemical. Our members, therefore, received proper training before handling it to limit the risks of using this chemical.

During the project, we had experts overseeing the safety of our work area, making sure it respected the safety norms of our country and university. All of the experiments done in a lab were done in the presence of a professional that worked in the lab. Furthermore, we had many risk management tools at our disposal. We had access to accident reports, personal protection equipment, a locked and secure place for our lab equipment, and a well-established waste management system.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, additional measures were taken in the lab to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Everything was done in accordance with the rules issued by the Government of Canada (Government of Canada, 2021) and Université Laval (Université Laval, 2021). The number of people working together at the same time was kept to a minimum to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

As can be understood from the above, our project is held exclusively in a level 1 containment lab.

References Government of Canada. (2021). Archived: Guidance for post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic - Retrieved 11 September 2021, from
ddd COVID-19 | Université Laval. (2021). Retrieved 11 September 2021, from