Interestingly, our prehistoric ancestors, the Aztecs, were the first to get “miel de maguey (agave)”.
The legendary “Pueblo del Sol” considered the agave as the tree of wonders, due to the large amount of products that extracted from it, among which highlighted the pulque, honey, wine, oil, vinegar, thread, and needle.
Pulque was particularly important for indigenous people, since it was part of the religious ceremonies and it was used for medicinal purposes. Even the agave was deified with the name of Mayahuel, the goddess associated with the creation of the plant itself and drunkenness.
The Aztecs employed the greater part of the mead produced to manufacture the nectar of Maguey as it was also used as remedy energy and for healing various diseases, but after the arrival of the Spaniards, the agave syrup was replaced with cane sugar.
The agave syrup or nectar is created starting from the liquid sap that is obtained from the inside of the “penca”. This first extraction is called mead and is consumed by the natives as a natural refreshing and fortifying drink. If this substance is fermented, it gets another name call pulque: an alcoholic beverage of ancient Mexican tradition.
The agave nectar in pre-Hispanic time, was the sweet more used and it was called tlitica necutli.
The most economically important species of agave, Agave Tequilana Weber blue variety and Agave Salmiana, are used to obtain syrup, although only 10 per cent of its harvest is destined for this purpose. The production of agave plants must grow at least six years to achieve the proper maturity, so that carbohydrates are stored in the “piña”. Once the “piña” is “jimada” it passes by a heartrending to get the juice and the fibers of agave, which then is subjected to a process of extraction and thermal hydrolysis. During this stage, the sugars remaining in the fibers pass to the juice and by means of heat leads to the sweet fructose. The juice is filtered to remove particles and continues by a cycle of demineralization. It finally evaporates to obtain a homogeneous syrup smell and good taste.
As a rule, the use of any type of food additive or any ingredient different from agave is not allowed, so only “piña” of agave and water are permitted in the production agave of syrup. The simple manipulation of carbohydrates of the “piña”, makes agave syrup a sweetener that is natural and comparable with the maple syrup and honey. This distinction places de agave syrup completely away from syrups that need complex processes of transformation for its production such as high fructose corn syrup and cane syrup, among others.
Nowadays agave remains exploited as in pre-Hispanic times. Mexico is considered as the center of origin of the agave genre. The agaves mainly produce fermented beverages, depending on the species of agave and the region, outstanding tequila, pulque, mezcal, sotol and bacanora, in addition to dietary fiber of agave and agave syrup, among others.
Agave syrup is considered to be the best alternative for natural sweetener of the future due to its extraordinary properties.
Agave syrup contains 2 active components with high nutritional value: inulin and fructose. Unlike table sugar obtained from cane and beet (whose content is sucrose), agave syrup has a high content of fructose.
On the other hand, synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin, have a very distinctive taste that modifies itself and the natural flavors of food and beverages.
So then, agave syrup has the following advantages over the rest of both natural and synthetic sweeteners available today:
It stimulates the growth of intestinal flora
due to the abundant presence of FOBS; (Bifidobacteria) in the oligofructose and inulin in agave syrup. Activate intestinal movement
Helps maintain a low rate of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Due to its low glycemic index, and under medical supervision, it is tolerated by patients with Diabetes Mielitus (NID) and Hyperglycemic. It is metabolized slowly, so it does not generate peaks in our level of glucose in the blood.
Does not cause dental caries since it inhibits the bacteria that cause it
Inhibit the growth of bacteria pathogenic
(e. coli, Listeria, Shigella, Salmonella).
It is 1.3 times sweeter than sugar
Contains Niacin which allows cleaning, draining and detoxifies veins and arterias. Enhances the natural flavor of food and drinks given its neutral taste and smell
It is 100% soluble at any temperature
It can be consumed during breastfeeding, pregnancy, pediatric and geriatric patients, high performance athletes, people on a diet… and the list continues
Cacao was already cultivated by the Mayas for more than 2500 years.
The cacao was called “cacahuat”; the aromatic beverage obtained from its fruits was called “xocolatl”.
From the land of Totonacapan in Veracruz, vanilla has led its flavor and aroma to the world.
The Aztecs used vanilla to flavor xocolatl prepared with vanilla and cacao.
In any region of the world, salt has always been necessary for human survival.
The mexican Lords and their hegemonic cultures as the maya and the Aztec used the salt for their political intentions.