Agave Nectar

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Agave Nectar

Postby PeterDaniel » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:52 pm

Hi All, I have had a few emails requesting more info on our Agave Nectar, so I am posing it here.

Agave Juice is a substance derived from the Blue Agave plant ( Agave Americana).
The plant is not endemic, and has been successfully cultivated since 1820 in South Africa.
Our agave is processed by being reduced at low temperatures to become more syrup like.
Large amounts of naturally occurring enzymes, vitamins and minerals are present in the Agave Nectar.
The plants are organically grown in wild plantations and never receive any fertilization.

Unlike some distributors in the States no adjuncts, such as high fructose syrup, are added to our Nectar.
We bottle only 100% pure Agave Nectar with a GI of 24.
High fructose corn syrup is a poison. It has been found in agave coming from Mexico, where they are 'cutting' the pure agave with cheap hfcs.
For a full description of this see: http://www.naturalnews.com/025060.html

Is it appropriate for you to use agave nectar?
I have found that most people are in a state of sugar imbalance.
Too much refined sugar disrupts sugar metabolism and strips minerals from the body.
The more refined and processed a sugar is, the more poisonous.
In order to transition away from the toxic sweeteners, a more natural alternative is helpful.
Agave can be a good transition choice in moving to a lower sugar diet.

The most natural sweetener I use regularly is raw honey, but it has a higher GI than Agave, and is not appropriate for those with extreme sugar imbalances.
I highly recommend going on at least a 10 day sugar free detox, to knock back bad bacteria loads.

To learn more about sugars, read this article by David Wolfe: Essential Sugars - http://superfoods.co.za/Essential-Sugars.doc

There are some who believe that Agave is not a natural food.
I am always amazed how people loose perspective on 'health food', when so much junk and poison is being eaten.
Raw, organic whole fruits and veggies should be the foundation of any good diet.
Agave is a stepping stone towards a low sugar diet, and is one of the best alternatives to refined sugar, allowing people to overcome destructive addictions.

I am happy with the quality of our Agave and use it in many of our raw cakes and desserts.

Enjoy!!
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Re: Agave Nectar

Postby PeterDaniel » Tue May 11, 2010 12:38 am

Here is some extra info from our new Agave supplier(apologies for the Mexican English). We have changed our agave to an SGS certified organic RAW agave, a darker, fruitier flavour, with no cooked fructose.
Please remember that the difference between a medicine and a poison is simply dosage. Use agave sparingly as you should any processed sweetener. Agave is not a 'superfood', it is a natural plant sap high in fructose, creating a low Glycemic load, making it suitable as a stepping stone towards a diet free of processed sweeteners for those who are sugar sensitive.



Shocking! There’s a huge misinformation about agave syrup and its process, find here the facts and the truth of this product.
We’ve been following with interest the article “Shocking! This 'Tequila' Sweetener is Far Worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup” in the past few days. It is amazing how powerful internet is in terms of informing or in this case misinforming people.

It is obvious that this article was written by a person that knows significant things about HFCS but nothing about agave syrup, maybe this is the reason he’s constantly confusing or mistaking one with the other. The first thing that rises up is that the article is not really talking about a Tequila Sweetener as the head line states, it is about Agave Syrup. Just to make a quick distinction, in order to make tequila the piñas (agave cores) are cooked then crushed to extract the juices for distillation process; in the case of agave syrup the piñas are crushed in cold for extracting the juices and then go through hydrolysis.

Going over all the available information, we are certain that most of the things written in the mentioned article are inferences lacking of documented research. Plus, the affirmations done about the agave syrup processing only denote a deep lack of knowledge about this industry as well. We would seriously recommend and welcome Mr. Mercola to pay a visit to our factory or even visit any one else’s factory in Mexico and learn as much as possible about the product and the process before write anything else about this topic.

The mentioned article is very irresponsible since without really having proved facts, there are affirmations that could hurt an industry that had been working hard to emerge during the past 9 years and had brought honest living for many families not only in Mexico but in the countries that this product is being commercialized.

The Facts


Absolutely not refined at all

Due the agave plant providing naturally occurring fructose, it does not need to be modified by any external chemical or natural substance to increase the percentage of fructose, therefore no need to refine it, it is just pure and natural.

Absolutely not highly processed

The process of the agave syrup in any modern factory does not involve enzymes or chemicals of any kind. The mentioned chemicals in the article are used specifically in the HCFS industry, not in the blue agave syrup industry. It seams there was no research at all to back up such affirmation.

Agave is not super-condensed


There is only an evaporation step in the process and it is done because there is no intention to fool anyone selling a diluted product. The promise to customers is to deliver pure agave syrup and that’s how it‘s done.

Agave syrup is 100% natural

As you can see in the process description below, agave has a very simple and neat process free of any terrible substances such as modified enzymes, chemicals or even lab creations. There is absolutely nothing added in the process to the agave “piñas” except for a small amount of water in the mechanical extraction step, which later on is removed during the evaporation process. It is fair to say then that agave syrup is one of the most natural sweeteners existing, perhaps the most natural one.

Description of the agave syrup process

1) Picking the agave from the fields. Only the core also known as “piña” is used, the leaves and root are cut off and left in the fields.
2) Mechanical extraction of the juices (inulin) and filtration of the solid fibers
3) Hydrolysis or cooking of the juices to brake the inulin chains into fructose
4) High vacuum evaporation to extract the water excess and concentrate the obtained carbohydrates.
5) Bottling

Blue agave syrup is produced according to the applying law or “norma” (NMX-FF-110-SCFI-2008 Productos Alimenticios – Jarabe de Agave Explicaciones y Métodos de Prueba) in which states the characteristics the product must have in order to be called blue agave syrup.

About quality control

We can not speak for every facility that produces agave syrup but in our case we are open for anyone to eyewitness how we work and what kind of controls we have. We can say that we have SGS third party audit, HCCP plan, BCS organic certification, KMD Kosher certification and work in continuous improvement basis. Regarding the fields, those are being systematically tested looking to preserve the optimums conditions of the plants and the soil, and there is a strategy applied in order to have enough blue agave available for present and future productions.

Also, our facilities have the latest in technology and equipment, walls and ceilings are of stainless steel, we have a sustainable process since we reutilize the water extracted from the agave. Also we work under a fair trade commitment in which we pay over 30% more of the commercial price for the agave so the farmers involved can improve their living conditions.

Varieties on the color of the agave syrup

Regarding the colors available they can go from the very light yellow to the dark ambers, the only thing that needs to be controlled in the process in order to provide the different colors is temperature, it is very simple to do. We can provide 4 different colors as per client’s request. In spite of the contrary affirmation this is been an issue that always had been under control at least in our factory.

Raw Agave Syrup

The raw agave syrup is not produced from the sap because that would implicate to use the leaves of the agave, only the Pina is used. For the raw agave the same process is applied but with a very significant differentiation, the temperature never goes over 118ºF during the hydrolysis step in order to guarantee a raw product.


Mixing?

As producers we never mixed agave syrup with corn syrup and never will, also we’ve never heard about any of our distributors or customers do that. It would simply represent to kill our business; we are not intended to do that.

Is there Blue Agave shortage in México?

There is not such a thing with blue agave and there is nothing farther from the true. Actually there are huge amounts of blue agave; Mexico alone has about 80,000 hectares of it. In some cases agave is even getting rotten and wasted since farmers over cultivated it in the past years. Once again no research was done to back up the mentioned article.

Regarding HMF

This element is present in honey and it is allowed up to 40 Mlg/Kg and in some cases up to 80 Mlg/Kg. (Alimentary Codex Norma para la miel STAN 12-1981 / OMS & FAO) In our agave syrup HMF is allowed too up to 40 Mlg/Kg but we strictly control it on an average of 14 Mlg/Kg.

No metabolic misfortune at all

It is absolutely incorrect to believe that the agave syrup could be a metabolic misfortune to consumers, on the contrary and because the agave syrup contents up to 5% of inulin there are studies (Universidad de Guadalajara has them available, they are pioneers in agave topics) that prove agave syrup contributes to improve metabolism by stimulating the intestinal flora, we need to keep in mind that inulin is a natural prebiotic and that’s exactly what prebiotics do, they help digestion and metabolism.

Low GI = Diabetic friendly

Yes that’s correct, agave syrup has very low GI and ours in particular is 17. Based in the research made by Dr. Jenkins Laboratories (among others) we can assure that in normal-proper amounts of consumption the agave syrup is a diabetic friendly product, obviously we do not and ever will recommend anybody to drink an entire 660gr bottle for breakfast.

Is fructose bad?

If someone is inferring that since HCFS is bad then anything that has fructose is bad, then we would have to infer that every fruit is dangerous for human consumption and there is no real scientist that would stand for such an inference. Even the article mentions that fruits have fructose but they are good; so, is it good or bad? The answer is simple: Fructose is good for you, you need it in the right portions to function, just like any food ever existing.

Laura Gabriel Sanchez Lozada / My Phuong Lee / Mark Segal / Richard Johnson from the division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation of the University of Florida wrote in an article published by “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” named “How safe is fructose for persons with or without diabetes” that as a conclusion of an analysis of fructose intake clearly states that ANY PERSON WITH OR WITHOUT DIABETES CONDITION CAN SAFELEY EAT UP TO 90GR OF FRUCTOSE AND EVEN GET A BENEFIT OF THE LOWERING CONCENTRATIONS OF GLYCATED HEMOGLOBIN (HbA1c). 90gr is almost 1/3 of a small bottle of 330gr! So how bad can fructose be? Zero, again it is all in the portions you eat.

The true thing about the mentioned article is that people are eating more fructose now days than in the past and there are two reasons:
1) People in general are changing from glucose to fructose as a global tendency
2) People love the sweet taste of sugars, no matter if it is glucose or fructose
The real problem here is not fructose or glucose, it is the overdose many people are eating, it has a negative impact because (far beyond of any metabolic issues) sugars will store in your body as fat if you don’t burn it.

About the caloric content of blue agave syrup

It is true that the caloric value between sugar table and agave syrup is very similar, but the tiny detail that was not explained is that you need 30-40% less of agave syrup to have the same edulcorant effect in foods so that allows you to use less agave syrup and there is were you can save calories compared to sugar, that is a fact.

Fructose elevates your uric acid levels?


It sounds dangerous but it is not quite true. Let’s see the whole picture; it’s been said that a uric acid condition is caused by abusing alcohol and excessive food intake but the truth is that it is purely attached to heritance. There are people that watch closely what they eat but having such a thing in their genes they just cant avoid it. Obviously once some one finds him-her self in such condition must be very careful with the foods to eat, surprisingly the prohibited foods for uric acid patients are not related to fructose. Actually what you should avoid if that was your case is fish, seafood, liver, kidneys, hearts, meat in general (beef, pork, lamb, etc.) also fats like butterfat, cream and pork butter and regarding beverages you must stay away of alcohol, caffeine and cola drinks. It is RECOMENDED to eat fruit such as bananas which by the way have the highest fructose content for a fruit. You can check the chart on the link below.
http://www.hacerdieta.com/category/diet ... ido-urico/

Does Fructose make me fat?


Any kind of sugar you eat including glucose that don’t’ get burned by your body will be stored in it as fat; that’s what the body does preparing for the bad times. The question is: Are you eating poor quality sugars, the right amount of sugars or just too many sugars? We would suggest you estimate your requirements with the help of a specialist and control your portions efficiently. There are no secrets or magic.

Does Agave Syrup cause Insulin Resistance?


We have no information whatsoever about any institute or university that performed research related to agave syrup causing insulin resistance, if anyone has it please share it with us, keep in mind that agave syrup is not HCFS they have different contents so do not assume any wrong inferences.

Actually, there are nutritionists who recommend the Agave Syrup consumption for PREVENTING the insulin resistance based on its inulin content, it’s been proved that this prebiotic helps keep sugar and glucose levels in balance which will keep you safe from insulin resistance condition. (http://www.enbuenasmanos.com/articulos/ ... sp?art=324).

Also Dr. Rafael Valle Rivera, in his article “Tratamiento de la Diabetes por medio de la alimentación” explains that the inulin contained in the agave syrup is a soluble fiber which decelerates the digesting process in a way that avoids the rush of glucose incorporation to the blood stream and also helps you to avoid excessive (not eliminating) levels of insulin improving a propitious organism sensitivity to this hormone (insulin).

Are the agave syrup and HCFS the same?


First of all, we must notice there are 3 main types of HFCS that are used in food industry:
Crystal Fructose / 100% fructose CP or Chemically Pure
High fructose corn 55 / 55% fructose
High fructose corn 42 / 42% fructose

The obvious but significant differences:
1) Raw material
2) Process

Blue Agave Syrup content:
Fructose 80%
Glucose 10%
Inulin 5%

Having this 5% inulin content makes a huge difference of agave as a healthy sweetener since it will help you to assimilate all nutrients you get on other foods such as calcium, vitamins and minerals plus giving you the chance to help your digestive system eliminating potential cancerigenous elements in your intestine.

Saying HCFS is the same as Agave Syrup is a flagrant mistake just as it would be to say that Agave Syrup and Fruit is the same, and by the way, the 3 of them have fructose.

Does agave syrup have saponins?

This is again the result of writing something without a little research to back it up. Saponins are present in several plants like lettuce, onions and that is right agave has saponins too. The good thing about getting to know the agave plant and the agave syrup process is that anyone would notice the saponins are present only in the leaves of the agave and when farmers do the picking and the “jima” the leaves and roots are cut off and left in the fields so this natural substance never really gets to the factory. Therefore no saponins in the agave syrup you enjoy with your favorite foods.

Conclusion

Agave Syrup is a 100% Natural, safe, healthy and even diabetic friendly product. It has ha great taste and sweetens 30-40% more than sugar table so you can use less to sweeten your foods so keep this in mind when you use it. It is very important to eat the proper amount of sugars you are supposed to so you are not lacking of them or storing them.
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