agave plant

Agave nectar is an alternative sweetener to sugar or honey, with vegan and low-glycemic characteristics.

Agave


What is Agave?

Agave nectar is a sweetener from the agave plant. It is obtained from several different species of agave plant and is most commonly known as the origin of tequila.

Origin

The Aztecs prized the agave plant as a gift from the gods. They used its sweetness in most of their foods and beverages, calling it “honey water.” Most agave nectar today originates from Mexico and South Africa.

Function

Agave nectar can be substituted in formulas for sugar or honey, and it’s often a popular choice for vegan consumers who choose the agave nectar over honey.

Agave nectar is produced as a light, medium, or dark colored syrup, depending on its final use. The darker syrup has a stronger, more caramelized taste and is often used “straight out of the bottle” as syrup topping for pancakes or waffles. The darker syrup is also preferred for beverages.

Application

  • Light—has a light, almost neutral flavor, and is often used in simple and delicate recipes and beverages.
  • Amber—medium color and caramel flavor, often used in stronger beverages and dishes.
  • Dark—this is unfiltered, and therefore, contains a higher mineral content from the agave plant; often used in recipes to impart a very distinct caramel flavor or color. Most agave nectar produced originates from the Blue Agave plant, however other species are used as well.

Nutrition

Because agave nectar is a low glycemic index food (a 30 on the index) it is also preferred for its health benefits over sugar and artificial sweeteners.

FDA Legal Requirement

GRAS Status