So many vegans and raw foodies rave about agave, however new research has now come to light indicating Agave is not as natural as we are lead to believe.
Agave was developed in the 1990′s and is made primarily in Mexico. There is really no such thing as agave nectar. The sweetener is made from the starchy part of the yucca or agave plant. Inulin, also a complex carbohydrate, makes up about 50% of the carbohydrate content of agave.
To produce so called agave nectar from the Agave Americana and Tequiliana plants, the leaves are cut off the plant after it has aged 7 to 14 years. Then the juice is expressed from the core of the agave. The juice is filtered, then heated, in order to hydrolyse the polysaccharides into simple sugars. The filtered, hydrolysed juice is concentrated to a syrupy liquid, slightly thinner than honey, from light coloured to dark amber, depending on the degree of processing.
It is a highly processed operation to convert the carbohydrates into a liquid nectar. This is done using caustic acids, clarifiers and filtration chemicals and results in a syrup that is from 70% – 92% pure fructose even higher than high fructose corn syrup (which is 55%). This is certainly not a raw product and this entire method can’t be good.
According to Dr Joseph Mercola, it’s hardly any better than high fructose corn syrup. It’s highly processed, and super high in fructose.