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As more individuals seek healthy alternatives to refined sugar, the global market for agave syrup is likely to rise. Product developers are incorporating different types of fruit-based syrups, including agave, into their product offerings. Organic agave syrup has a low glycemic index and is reported to provide additional health benefits such as prebiotic fibers, improved intestinal transit, lower cholesterol, and no gluten. Agave syrup demand is predicted to rise as a result of these perceived advantages. Confectionery, jams, drinks, bakery, cereals and granolas, dairy, condiments and spices, and cosmetics are some of the other applications for agave syrup. North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia are likely to be primary markets.
Agave grows in warm and dry regions, and is indigenous to the Southern United States and Latin America. Agave is used to produce Tequila. Agave nectar has been used in Mexico for several years, where it was believed to have medicinal properties and offer health benefits.
Natural sweeteners such as organic agave syrup are perceived to be healthy alternatives to refined sugar used in sweet bakery products. Also, while intense or non-caloric sweeteners (sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate, stevia, etc.) offer significant sweetening, these substances do not help in the formation of the body of the product being baked; energy sweeteners (monosaccharides, disaccharides, polyalcohols, etc.) might give bakery products a stable structure and expansion, but offer less flavour. Agave syrup offers bakery products both, significant sweetening as well as a stable structure. Applications of agave syrup include the following:
Confectionery - Candies, popsicles, marshmallows, gummies, chewing gum and chocolates.
Beverages - Coffee, juices, soft drinks, teas, smoothies and energy drinks.
Baking - Cookies, cakes, bread, gelatin and desserts.
Cereals and granolas - Cereals with fruit and granola, snack and energy bars.
Dairy industry - Cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, yogurt, shakes, smoothies and ice cream.
Dietary supplements - Digestive health supplements, capsules, tablets and powder supplements.
Animal Food - Foods for animals and pets
Agave is also used in cosmetics such as creams, masks, oils, etc. It is said to have properties that strengthen and nourish hair, and reduce wrinkles on the skin. Thus, application across sectors is expected to boost the global agave syrup market. However, concerns regarding the commercial production of agave nectar may hinder market growth; as agave sugars are treated with enzymes and significant levels of heat during production, the healthy properties are destroyed.
Further, agave nectar, while possessing a low glycemic index (GI), is high in fructose, which may negatively affect sugar levels in the body, and cause insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes in the long-term. These concerns may restrict market growth.
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