Difference Between Agave and Blue Agave 

Main Difference – Agave vs Blue Agave 

Negative health impacts associated with added sugar always force consumers to turn to natural sweeteners. Agave is one of the commonly consuming natural sweeteners in the world. There are two types of agave known as regular agave and blue agave. These sweeteners are mainly used as a food ingredient in the production of confectionery products. Agave is mainly derived from plant sources. It is a sweetener, commercially manufactured from several species of agave, containing Agave tequilana and Agave salmiana. The main difference between Agave and Blue Agave is that blue agave is exclusively from the Blue Agave plant (Agave tequilana). Regular agave nectar is a mixture and can be prepared from Grey, Green or Thorny Agave varieties. Difference Between Agave and Blue Agave - infographic

What is Agave

Agave, also known as agave syrup is a natural, healthful sweetener, commercially manufactured several species of agave, including Agave Salmiana, Green, Grey, Thorny, and Rainbow varieties. Agave syrup is synthesized in the plant as a result of photosynthesis process, and they provide food and energy for metabolism of plants. It is sweeter than honey, though less viscous. They have mainly manufactured Mexico and South Africa. Agave syrup is rich in fructose (55%-90%). It is 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar and ideal substitution for sugar or honey in different cuisines. Fructose and glucose are predominant sugars found in Agave. Agave contains a high amount of fructose and consumption of large amounts of fructose can be harmful since it can trigger fructose malabsorption, metabolic syndrome, decreased glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia,  and accelerated uric acid formation.

Main Difference - Agave vs Blue Agave

Agave Salmiana

What is Blue Agave

Blue agave nectars are exclusively derived from species-specific from Central Mexico’s renowned blue agave plant. The scientific name of blue agave is Agave tequilana var. Weber and it is a member of the Amaryllis family. This is a slow-growing plant that spreads new plants from a ‘mother’ plant. Generally, the agave is cultivated and processed without adding any chemicals or genetic modification. Blue agave is produced by the leaves of Agave tequilana (blue agave). The nectar is then extracted from the core of the agave and filtered. After that, filtrate is heated to break the complex components into simple sugars.

Difference Between Agave and Blue Agave

Difference Between Agave and Blue Agave 

Agave and blue agave may have substantially different sensory properties, nutrients, and uses. These differences may include,

Source

Agave: Agave is derived mainly from the nectar of the Agave Salmiana or Green, Grey, Thorny, and Rainbow agave varieties.         

Blue Agave: Blue agave is derived from nectar of the Agave tequilana (also known as Blue Agave)

Scientific Classification

Agave:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Subfamily: Agavoideae
  • Genus: Agave
  • Species: salmiana

Blue Agave:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Subfamily: Agavoideae
  • Genus: Agave
  • Species: tequilana

Production Countries

Agave: The two largest agave producers in the world are Mexico and South Africa.

Blue Agave: Blue agave is a vital cash crop in Jalisco, Mexico.

Uses

Agave: Agave is used as a vegan alternative to honey during cooking. It is also used as a sweetener for cold beverages such as iced tea and some breakfast cereals. Agave is classified based on the colour such as light- to dark amber, depending on the degree of processing.

Blue Agave: Blue agave is used for following applications;

  • Main ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled beverage
  • Due to high fructose content, it is suitable for the preparation of alcoholic beverages

In conclusion, both agave and blue agave are natural sweeteners, considered healthier than sugar and both have a lot of similar applications. But they are derived from two different plant varieties.

References

Altuzar, A.; E. A. Malo; H. Gonzalez-Hernandez; J. C. Rojas (2007). Electrophysiological and behavioural responses of Scyphophorus acupunctatus (Col., Curculionidae) to Agave tequilana volatiles. Journal of Applied Entomology 131 (2): 121–127.

Basciano H, Federico L, Adeli K (2005). Fructose, insulin resistance, and metabolic dyslipidemia. Nutrition & Metabolism 2 (5).

Carbohydrate quantity and quality and risk of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92, 905–911.

Kántor, Z., Pitsi, G. and Thoen, J. (1999). Glass Transition Temperature of Blue agave as a Function of Water Content As Determined by Differential Scanning Calorimetry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 47 (6): 2327–2330

Ralf Patzold; Hans Bruckner (2005). Mass Spectrometric Detection and Formation of D-Amino Acids in Processed Plant Saps, Syrups, and Fruit Juice Concentrates (PDF). J. Agric. Food Chem 53 (25): 9722–9729.

Image Courtesy:

“Agave salmiana” by Paul Hermans – Own work via

“Agave tequilana” by Stan Shebs via

About the Author: Geesha

Geesha has a BSc (Hons) degree in Food Science and Technology and Master's degree in Food and Nutrition. She is currently reading for her PhD in Food science and technology. Sharing what she learned is a passion of hers and enjoys writing.


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