Agave Nectar vs. Agave Syrup
We strongly advocate using agave nectar as a sweetener. Agave nectar is a low-glycemic food (foods with a glycemic index lower than 55 are considered low glycemic), and as such – is less likely to trigger the body’s mechanism for fat storage.
Lately there’s been a great deal of confusion with regard to agave nectar and agave syrup – the two of which are not the same.
The creation of agave nectar is very similar to maple syrup in that it’s made by extracting sap (in this case, from the pina – the center of the agave plant), filtering it, and then heating it at low temperature. This breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. Lighter and darker varieties of agave nectar are made from the same plants. Low temperatures are used in processing many varieties of agave nectar (under 118 degrees F) – which is why agave nectar is typically regarded as a “raw food”. No chemicals or enzymes are added in the production of agave nectar.
Then there is, of course agave syrup – an entirely different ball of game. Agave syrup is – shall we say, “modified” no different than corn syrup, the end result of which is HFCS – high fructose corn syrup, HFCS, like agave syrup, is anything but natural.
Unfortunately, in the agave industry, the terms agave nectar and agave syrup, are often used interchangeably. The reason? It wasn’t until recently that the food industry took notice of agave nectar and realized that, with a little bit of modification, it could be sold as a commercial food sweetener similar to HFCS. Prior to this discovery, those who’ve used agave nectar for thousands of years simply used the nectar and syrup interchangeably.
They never considered that commercial food chemists had a very different future in store for what would become agave syrup. Members of the food industry who are less than excited about the low – glycemic, all natural competitors to other more harmful sweeteners, have been attempting to suggest that agave nectar and agave syrup are the same.
While any reasonable intelligent person knows that this is not true, the truth has never stopped anyone from painting fiction as fact.