Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beware Agave Nectar

 I'm not one for regular product scares, but after reading this Huffington Post article, I'm definitely thinking twice before buying agave syrup again!

Though it's marketed as the "healthier" and "natural" alternative to artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, let's be real- when any product is mass marketed, there's always a chance that the health benefits fall off the wagon during the manufacturing process. Consider:

"In spite of manufacturer's claims, most agave "nectar" is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from its pineapple-like root bulb[i]. The root has a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of fructose molecules.
The process which many, if not most, agave producers use to convert this inulin into "nectar" is VERY similar to the process by which cornstarch is converted into HFCS1.
Though processing methods can differ among manufacturers, most commercially available agave is converted into fructose-rich syrup using genetically modified enzymes and a chemically intensive process involving caustic acids, clarifiers, and filtration chemicals[ii]. Here is a partial list of the chemicals many producers use:
Activated charcoal
Cationic and ionic resins
Sulfuric and/or hydrofluoric acid

Inulin enzymes
How natural does this sound?
The result is highly refined fructose syrup, along with some remaining insulin. Most agave "nectar" is neither safe nor natural with laboratory-generated fructose levels of more than 80 percent!

Definitely read some of the facts in this article and decide for yourself!

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