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    Weston A. Price

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    May 22, 2009

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    Hi,
    This information is not true of all agave nectars. Please read this article for clarification:
    http://alteredplates.blogspot.com/2008/12/madhavas-craig-gerbore-responds-to.html.

    Hi Laura
    We usually enjoy your imformative and inspiring blog but are very concerned about your comments surrounding the manufacturing processes used by Agave producers. Please can you confirm that you have actually stood in an Agave factory in Mexico and watched the process thatsupposedly involves Chemical processes, gm enzymes,caustic acids, clarifiers, chemicals etc. Can you be 100% certain that these are used and that the manufacturing process is the same as that for HFCS....or are you just repeating dangerous and biased article written by Russ Bianchi? Please explain more about your claims as having been out to Mexico and watched the manufacturing processes at an organically certified factory, your claims mystify us. I look forward to your comments and the research behind your strong remarks. Mrs Hayward

    Thank you for your comment. I can't be 100% certain. I have not visited any facilities. In my blog I shared an article from the Weston A. Price (WAP)Foundation. For what it is worth, Mercola came out with a similar article last week http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/02/Agave-A-Triumph-of-Marketing-over-Truth.aspx, and Mercola and WAP can seriously disagree sometimes. People need to make the best judgments that they can, and in the blog post I talk about my family's judgments. We try to stay away from processed foods as best as we can, and Agave is processed and it is a disaccharide, which we avoid. If your judgment and needs lead you to a different conclusion, than by all means enjoy!

    I am a producer of Hydrolyzed Inulin Syrup in Mexico and we export all our production as Agave Syurp, a traditional name for the product. Blue Tequilana Weber agave is our raw material. Once the leaves are cut, the piña (pineapple of the agave plant) is exposed and ready to be transported to the extraction plant. This piña contains 20 - 25% on its weight of a carbohydrate called inulin. At the extraction plant, the piñas are crushed and with a bit of water, the inulin is extracted. The resulting juice is called "raw juice". There a couple of ways to use the water for the extraction of inulin based on its temperature, but the result is the same with no additions of any sort of anything other than water. This juice is filtered using diatomaceous earth, and at this point the juice is basically tasteless with a light aroma of agave. The organic material (insoluble fiber), proteins and other plant compounds that are left on the juice are precipitated by applying heat at 180 F. The juice is then filtered with activated carbon and run through an ion exchange column where all the minerals and salts are extracted. Then we apply heat at 210 F and hydrolysis takes place, which is the natural way for the inulin to turn into 90% fructose, 5% glucose and other simple sugars. All plants have saponins which are believed to be the natural plant defenses against insect invasion. They have a bitter flavor when present and are all gone after being heat treated.
    Now the juice is considered cooked and hydrolyzed and it is sweet, without any flavor, for example, could be the base to make lemonade. We filter once more the hydrolyzed juice to make it impeccably hygienic and to look brilliant and perfectly transparent, using diatomaceous earth filtration aid. Last step is to evaporate the water of the juice to make it syrup. Now you have liquid syrup that is 1.4 times sweeter than liquid table sugar, with very little glucose content (good thing for diabetics). To recap our processing aids…water + diatomaceous earth + activated carbon + FDA approved resins + heat. All these processing aids are normally used in the process of any juice, or any beverage you drink.
    The agave syrup we manufacture is in no doubt the most natural sweetener you can have as a processed sweetener. At home, you can take a piece of agave piña, add a little water, and take your pressure cooker from under the stairs and after a couple of hours at medium heat, you will have the sweetest natural juice that you have ever tasted. Take your colander and press it to take most of the hydrolyzed inulin out. Now you can make your lemonade (don’t forget the lemons). But I forgot to tell you that the agave piña is about 100 lbs and it will be difficult to take into your kitchen, so go to the store and buy a small bottle of agave syrup, hydrolyzed inulin syrup, and enjoy its natural – non chemical taste, color and brilliant appearance as you protect your body for high glucose intake.

    I drank Iced tea all weekend long with Agava syrup added and now have diarrhea. That is all I know.

    Thank you for sharing and for reading my blog. Sorry you experienced that!

    I used an agave-based BBQ sauce for Gluten-Free BBQ chicken and both of us who ate it also had diarrhea after eating it two nights in a row. I will definitely try to find a non-agave-based BBQ sauce for my next GF BBQ experience!

    Thank you for reading! I have a BBQ sauce to suggest. A friend of mine started this company. It has some sugar (I wish they could use honey) and that is about it for objectionable ingredients. We use it a couple of times a year: http://www.outtatheparksauce.com/content/our-ingredients

    It is about the only processed food I buy these days.

    I had tea sweetened with agave at a very nice organic restaurant yesterday and barely made it back to my office! My stomach was cramping, gas, diahrrea.....

    Have been using agave for a month now. Diarrhea for same time period...just figuring it out now.

    Forget it.

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