Agave is a desert succulent, not a cactus as some have
been led to believe. It is a species native to Mexico.
There are many kinds of agave throughout Mexico; however
the Blue Agave flourishes in volcanic soil in Guadalajara.
Although Tequila and Mezcal and its other variants are
made all over Mexico and throughout the world, the mountainous
state of Jalisco, Mexico is its birthplace. The primary
reason for this is that soil in that region comes from
the old volcanoes that make up the mountain range. If
you ever get an opportunity to visit take special notice
at the soil. It shimmers like glitter from all of the
nutrients. The Blue Agaves are more hearty and plentiful
here than anywhere else in the world.
Incidentally there’s a town
in Jalisco near the city of Guadalajara called Tequila.
Hummm? The name agave comes from is the Greek word
for 'noble.' Agave nectar (and tequila) is made from
the sap from hearts (piñas) of the plant. This
plant is actually related to the lily and amaryllis
(it has its own genus, Agave). It is known as a succulent
and, although it shares a common habitat with many
cacti, it is not one itself and has a different life
cycle. A mature agave has leaves 5-8 feet tall, and
is 7-12 feet in diameter. It has a lifespan of 8-15
years, depending on species, growing conditions and
As you can see by the photos
on this page the process for extracting the agave
is fairly simple. The leaves are removed from the
plant which bares the base of the plant 1/2 above
and 1/2 below the ground. The agave base is then removed
and taken to a facility to where it is heated to no
more than 118 degrees F in a giant "pressure cooker" of sorts to get the juices flowing.
The base or ball of the plant is then chopped up,
filtered, sent through a centrifuge and poured into
the bottles you get today. There are other less expensive
ways to produce the agave in a faster way, but Volcanic
Nectar prefers the more traditional methods for health
There are many species of agave in
Mexico, of which the blue agave - Agave tequilana
weber azul - is the only one allowed for use in tequila
production and also the only agave used to make our
Volcanic Agave Nectar. Blue agave is considered to
be the finest agave in the world.
The agaves reproduce both sexually
and asexually naturally but those involved in alcohol
production are never allowed to reach sexual maturity.
At the onset of sexual maturity the agave produces
a flowering spike in the middle of the agave. But
the agave farmers sever this spike, and all the plants
nutrients and energy that would have gone in to making
flowers and seeds is then redirected. This redirection
is back into the heart of the plant. The severed spike
or central stem begins to swell.
agaves are cut free from their root base and the sword like leaves are
removed from the central stem. It is at this point that the agaves take
on a new descriptive name of piña (because they look like big
Organic agave nectar
is a natural product that can sweeten any type of beverage or food.
It is derived from the carbohydrates present in the agave plant through
a totally natural heating process with no chemicals involved. To produce
organic agave nectar, juice is expressed from the core of the agave
(the piña). The juice is then filtered to create agave nectar
or syrup. The agave nectar has the natural solids removed through a
fine filtration process.
The agave nectar
is then heated (less than 118 degrees), causing thermal hydrolysis which
breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars. The main carbohydrate is
a complex form of fructose called inulin or fructosan. The filtered
juice is concentrated to a syrup-like liquid a little thinner than honey
is a simple sugar found mainly in fruits and vegetables. Due to the
predominance of fructose 50% in our agave nectar, our organic agave
nectar is much sweeter than sucrose. Thus, a smaller amount yields the
same sweetness but fewer calories than sucrose. This gives agave nectar
advantages in both the food industry and the health of the consumer.
Agave is naturally
fortified with Inulin. Inulins are a group of naturally occurring oligosaccharides
(several simple sugars linked together) produced by many types of plants.
They belong to a class of carbohydrates known as fructans. Inulin is
used by some plants as a means of storing energy and is typically found
in roots or rhizomes. Most plants which synthesize and store inulin
do not store other materials such as starch.
Inulin is used increasingly
in foods, because it has excellent nutritional and functional characteristics.
This is particularly advantageous because inulin contains one-third
to one-fourth the food energy of sugar or other carbohydrates and one-sixth
to one-ninth the food energy of fat. It also increases calcium absorption
and possibly magnesium absorption, while promoting probiotic bacteria.
Nutritionally, it is considered a form of soluble fiber. Inulin has
a minimal impact on blood sugar, making it generally considered suitable
for diabetics and potentially helpful in managing blood sugar-related
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