Agave syrup is an organic sweetener naturally extracted as a milky white juice from the pineapple-shaped core (Piña) of the Blue Weber Agave, a cactus-like plant native to Mexico. The Blue Agave plant has been used for thousands of years by the original inhabitants of America. There are 136 known species of agave. It is mainly grown in high western areas and the broad-leaved plants take about eight years to mature. The plant was harvested for a variety of uses, including food, drink and clothing. It is only recently that the nectar of the plant was recognized for its exceptionally sweet properties.
Processing of AGAVE SYRUP
The leaves and root of the agave are cut off and left in the fields since only the core or 'pina' is used. The juice (inulin) is mechanically extracted and filtered to remove the hard fibres. The juices then undergo hydrolysis until the inulin chains are transformed into fructose, followed by vacuum evaporation to extract the excess water. This leaves only concentrated carbohydrates. The syrup is then bottled. The processing facilities have the latest technology and equipment in stainless steel at their disposal. The process is sustainable because the water extracted from the Agave is reused. The supplier works under a fair trade commitment so that the farmers involved can improve their living conditions. Our type of agave nectar is mild and is filtered longer, so it is thinner than honey. The taste is neutral, it enhances the natural tastes of food and drink without affecting their profile. It is easy to use because of its light viscosity and it flows easily. The high quality of this sweetener requires less filtering and delivers the rich and complex flavours that distinguish agave.
HEALTHY PROPERTIES OF AGAVE SYRUP
Agave syrup consists mainly of fructose (about 76%) and has a low glycemic index (GI), so it is absorbed more slowly in the blood than regular sugar. It is sweeter than sugar but contains fewer carbohydrates and calories. Fructose does not stimulate the production of insulin-like other sugars, so there is no 'Sugar Rush'. Agave syrup contains up to 5% inulin. Agave syrup is produced in different qualities, varying in taste and colour. The mild variant of agave nectar is taste-neutral, it enhances the natural aromas without affecting the taste. This is in stark contrast to bee honey, apple syrup and certain other natural sugar substitutes that do change the taste of the products they sweeten.
Agave syrup is easy to handle due to its light viscosity. Agave nectar can be used to sweeten drinks or food and is used as a natural substitute for sugar to make cakes, cookies, cereals, bread, pudding, pastries, salad dressings, sauces and marinades, ice cream, yoghurt, smoothies and soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and jams. It does not crystallize and is very easily soluble, even in cold beverages, and can be used to sweeten breakfast cereals. It has high purity, is stable in its composition with a long shelf life of up to three years. Agave nectar has hygroscopic properties (moisture attracting). This can improve the freshness and shelf life when used in bread and pastries.
GLYCEMIC INDEX AND AGAVE SYRUP
Agave syrup is certified organic. The Agave crops used in the production of Agave syrup are herbicide and pesticide-free. Our agave syrup is kosher. Glycemic index: This is a relatively new concept that can be important from a digestive point of view. The index is an indicator of how much your blood sugar level rises within 2-3 hours of food consumption. Most carbohydrates are usually converted into the simple sugar glucose, which on the glycemic index on average gets its assigned value of 100. The higher the glycemic index is, the faster it increases your blood sugar. Our agave syrup has a glycemic index of 47.
Our mild variant of agave syrup is neutral in taste and can be used to enhance the natural flavours of coffee, tea, fruit drinks, cakes, fresh fruit, fruit smoothies, salad dressings, jams, puddings, ice cream, yoghurts, and various prepared foods, without affecting their taste.