Birch sap in general

Birch sap is a pure and renewable natural resource. It is a natural solution of all the nutrients that birch trees need and which flows during spring time in the birch trees in form of fresh sap from the roots to the top of the trees.

During the summer birch trees absorb and store energy and resources and prepare sugars from the water and carbon dioxide by the aid of the trees leaves and sunshine. In the autumn birch trees store the energy accumulated during the summer into their roots for the waking up in the next spring. In spring birch trees absorb water and nutrients with the roots. The sap starts to flow from the roots towards to the top of the tree when the osmotic pressure grows as sugars, fruit acids and minerals dissolve to the absorbed water.

Thus, birch sap is a nutritional solution, which wakes the birch trees alive after long and oppressive winter. It contains all the important ingredients which are vital for the growth of the birch trees. Birch trees grow in forests in unpolluted Finnish nature, so it is allowed to say that birch sap is a pure natural product, which all ingredients are originated from the pure Finnish nature.

Sap season

The timing of the sap season depends on the weather conditions and the progress of the spring in each year. The birch sap collection season is extremely short, only 3-5 weeks / year. In Tohmajärvi birch sap normally starts to flow in April, and the collection season is over when leaves start budding in the trees in May.

Natural contents of birch sap

About 99 % of birch sap is water. The measured dry solid content of the birch sap is about 1 %. The most of the dry solid content is sugars. The sugars that birch sap contains are mainly fructose and glucose. Also some traces of sucrose have been found.

The main acids found in birch sap are fruit acids, mostly malic acid. In addition, also small contents of amber acid, citric acid, phosphorus acid and fumaric acid have been found. Birch sap contains also small amounts of several amino acids. Typically birch sap is slightly acid. The pH can vary between 5,5-7,5. The pH of the birch sap at its highest in the beginning of the sap season and decreases towards the end of the season. Birch sap contains also potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium and phosphorus. The latest studies has shown that birch sap contains also small amounts of dicarboxylic acids, small peptides, betaines, phenolic acids and plant hormones among others.

All the natural values can vary widely during the sap season and from one year to another.

Natural compounds of birch sap, range of variation


72 - 166 mg/l



3000 - 5000 mg/l


33 - 85 mg/l



2000 - 4000 mg/l


7 - 22 mg/l



100 – 500 mg/l


5 – 16 mg/l


Malic acid

230 – 510 mg/l


0,2 – 1,8 mg/l


Succinic acid

20 – 50 mg/l


1,5 – 13 mg/l


Tartaric acid

0 – 1090 mg/l


0,02 – 0,6 mg/l



0,5 – 1,2


0 – 0,16 mg/l



5,4 – 7,0


100 g of birch sap contains: energy: 17 kJ – Fat: < 0,1 g – Protein: < 0,1 g, carbohydrate: 0,7 g
Microbiological criteria: bacteria < 10 cfu/ ml, yeast <10 cfu/ml, mould <10 cfu/ml
Heavy metals: lead < 10 µg Pb/l – mercury < 1,0 µg Hg/l – cadmium < 5,0 µg Cd/l – arsenic < 10 µg As/l

The taste and the appearance of birch sap

Birch sap is a clear, almost colourless solution, even though the colour can vary during the season from slightly greenish to total colourless. The taste of the birch sap is extremely mild, slightly sweetish and has a mild wooden aroma. Also a little sourness can be tasted in the birch sap in the end of the sap season. The taste of the birch sap is composed mainly by the natural sugar-acid ratio, which varies during the sap season. In the beginning of the sap season, the sap is slightly sweeter than towards the end of the season, as at the end of the season natural sweetness decreases and acid content increases. However, the difference of the flavour is very small, so an untrained person may not detect all the shades of the flavour.

Nordic Koivu™ Birch sap

Nordic Koivu Ltd. produces only organic birch sap. 97% of Nordic Koivu™ Birch sap is for export. Product segments are 1) Bottled birch sap as a consumer product and 2) Industrial birch sap as an ingredient in industry.

Nordic Koivu’s consumer product is packed in 250 ml and 500 ml glass bottles. Nordic Koivu™ birch sap is 100 % natural, no additives or preservatives have been used. Additionally, Special Edition bottled birch sap has not been heated. Premium bottled birch sap has been heat treated. Bottled birch sap can be stored unopened in room temperature (below +22°C) for 2 ½ years from delivery and 3-5 days after opening below + 8 °C.

Birch sap destined to be used as an ingredient in the industry, is packed aseptically in 3-1000 l bag-in-boxes. During the aseptic packaging process birch sap goes through heat treatment (135°C, 20 sec.). In some cases, additives are added to birch sap according to clients requirements. Aseptically packed birch sap can be stored in room temperature (below +22°C) 18 months from delivery.

Intended use of birch sap

Nordic Koivu™ Birch sap in an excellent drink to enjoy as such, or as sports drink or thirst quencher, as well as a beverage to accompany dinner. Birch sap is also used around the world to detoxify your body and as a part of homeopathic treatments. Bottled birch sap is ready consumer product, which is distributed in specialized shops.

Aseptically packed birch sap is used as an ingredient in the beverage and cosmetic industry. Birch sap is used in the beverage industry as an ingredient in different kind of mixed drinks. The cosmetic industry uses birch sap as an ingredient in cosmetic and beauty products as well in hair care products.