Agave-Response to "Just say no to AGAVE!

Response to accusations that Agave is not what it is supposed to be by Craig Gerbore, Owner of Madhava

I think that article is designed to defame agave, and contains many mistatements and scare tactics to drive home a slanted message. Please read over some of the points below and also please consider the authors source, Russ Bianchi.

Rami Nagel was very selective with the information he used, he certainly ignored a large body of info on the subjects he addresses. It is unbalanced, and much of it is out of context. I think there is plenty of unbiased information available out there if one seeks it out.Mr Nagel created quite a storm of controversy for the agave industry, one which he has personally avoided since.
The following is part of my response and what follows are comments posted by an individual on a site which ran the article, plus some more comments. I still have a number of things to comment on and I hope to one day soon have a coherent full length piece to address all of their contentions.
In response, I must first point out that Mr. Nagel’s article is based primarily on the view of Russ Bianchi. There is some background information about Mr. Bianchi to follow.
The author states “The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice.”
This statement, which is the foundation of much of their argument comparing agave nectar to corn syrup, has no basis in scientific fact, THERE IS NO STARCH IN the agave.
How can the author be so mistaken on this statement which is central to his attack?
Agave plants have inulin, not starch. From Wikipedia: Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants. They belong to a class of fibers know as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a means of storing energy and it typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants which synthesize and store inulin do not store other materials such as starch.
There is no starch in agave, and agave nectar is not from starch as the author and Mr. Bianchi claim. They have tried very hard to propagandize the public with this false analogy.
Such an error of fact certainly casts doubt on the validity of the rest of Nagel’s article, as the lack of depth of his research has to be apparent to all. Really, he is just reiterating the singular view of Mr. Bianchi.
I personally spoke with the author during his “research”, as did at least one other in the industry. He chose not to include one word of the information given him by us.
“HFCS is made with GM enzymes”. Bianchi’s states “they (agave and corn syrup) are indeed made the same way” This is another false assertion. Our agave nectar is not made the same way as corn syrup. There is no starch in our agave. There are no chemicals, no refinement beyond the evaporation of water. And, there are no GMO enzymes involved.
Other points regarding fructose apply to sugars in general and are a consumption, or overconsumption issue. Certainly consuming large amounts of sweeteners of any kind will be detrimental to one’s health. Suggesting fructose could cause health issues when concentrated amounts are eaten is a statement which should really apply to the overconsumption issue. The information the author links to agave nectar is the result of megadose testing of pure clinical fructose and is pulled out of context. This is not the same thing as normal daily use of agave nectar in the course of our meals.
The author has made a strong attempt to transfer the negative perception of corn syrup to agave, but it falls far short. That negative view goes beyond fructose, to the industry and production of the corn syrup, which also differ greatly from agave.
I’ve pointed out the fact that there is no starch in agave. Other differences would be that:
Corn syrup is made from milled corn, agave syrup is made from the juice of the plant.
Agave is an organic product, corn syrup is not.
Many corn crops are using systemic pesticides.
GMO’s are an acknowledged part of the corn industry. Agave has no GMO’s.
The carbon footprint of the corn and corn syrup industry is far larger than that of agave. Agave plants are maintained and harvested by people, not machinery.
The corn industry is controlled by major corporations, the agave nectar industry is made up of small businesses.
These points contribute to a negative view of corn syrup as well as highlight important differences between corn syrup and agave.
The antisweetener advocates just have to admit that it is the overconsumption of sugars that is the problem. Used in moderation, sugars serve a purpose, to make other foods and beverages more palatable. Affinity for sweet taste is a human trait that most want to satisfy. For those who use sweeteners, there are limited choices available and many choose agave for its particular attributes. It is a good choice. Agave’s neutral flavor suits the purpose. It is in fact low glycemic, organically certified and non allergenic. Many with diabetes and other special diets find it suitable for their use where other sweeteners are not. It’s easy to use and you can use less.
While it remains up to the individual to maintain balance in their diet and monitor their overall consumption of sweets, agave nectar does have advantages over other sweeteners and that is why it has become so popular and received so much attention today.

 

Some more thoughts,
There are those who attack agave nectar based on its fructose content using a claim such as Fructose can lead to an increase in triglycerides. This claim is a good example of a half-truth.
To quote from the International Food Information Council website; http://ific.org/publications/qa/fructoseqa.cfm?renderforprint=1
“Triglyceride is a technical term for fat that occurs in food and in the body. Both dietary fat and carbohydrates contribute to the formation of triglycerides in the body but in different ways. Excess consumption of calories from fats, proteins, or carbohydrates-including starches and sugars-promotes accumulation of body fat”
A wide range of foods can lead to an increase in triglycerides, fructose is not singled out.
Notice above that it stresses excess consumption of calories. Most foods have calories that will promote body fat when consumed in too large a quantity. But, it is still the overall consumption level that should be at issue.
The answer is the same across the board, eat a balanced diet in moderate quantities. Everyone knows that, but with all the choices out there including so many poor ones, self control has become the real issue that each individual needs to address if they are truly interested in eating for better health.
So, an implication such as consumption of fructose can lead to increased triglycerides is a true statement that has been manipulated to convey a negative message.
One of the advantages of agave nectar is that it is sweeter and less is required for the desired taste. I hope it is clear that the author builds his arguement on erroneous non factual information. The purpose of the piece was to attack, not to educate.

Digging through the net, I've found Bianchi lists Ingredient Broker among his services. Further still, oligosaccharides are a product he deals in.
Russ Bianchi is the sole live source quoted. Here is some background information.
Background on Russ Bianchi, Adept Solutions Inc.
http://servicesdirectory.ift.org/cms/?pid=3003&companyId=2380251
Adept Solutions, Inc.
Russ Bianchi, Managing Director & CEO
725 Paradiso Court
Soquel Research Park Headquarters & Labs
Soquel, CA 95073-2347
USA

Phone: 831 477 1344
Fax: 831 477 1348

 

Description:
Adept Solutions, Inc. is a leading global product development and formulation firm specializing in new product creation and innovative existing brand, or product conversion, as well a recipe commercialization and standardization. Adept Solutions, Inc. expertise includes, but is not limited to, food, beverage, bakery, sweeteners, fruit, frozen, microwavable, ambient, aseptic, confectionery, chocolate, dairy, cereal, bars, tableting, capsules, meat, poultry, fish, cosmetic, nutritional and dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, pet products, expert witness services, sports, diet, medical, reliable co-packing and many other categories. With current consulting experience on 6 continents, Adept Solutions, Inc. has one of the finest success rates among all formulating firms globally for meeting or exceeding client's goals with commercially successful product launches at low costs.
Adept Solutions, Inc. is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists, and the American Association of Cereal Chemists, the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering, the American Association of Candy Technologists and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Adept Solutions, Inc., specializes, and is the technological leader in product development and conversion of proven significant shelf life extension, water activity control (Aw), higher yields, proven sports and dietary energy, satiety, crystal inhibition, efficacious diabetic products, functional bar manufacture, low calorie sweetening without adverse costs or side effects including heat products, flavor improvement or masking, fat reduction, high fiber, microwavability, equilibration, oxidation, anti-staling, and many other disciplines.
All of our finished products and formulations have great taste, clean labeling, manufacture in existing plant and equipment, and have affordable formulation costs. Our turn-around times are notably faster than other firms in our category. Adept Solutions, Inc. offers free estimates on all projects, and we do not charge up front overt, or hidden fees. We have a complete satisfaction guarantee to our expertise for your products. Let our very high batting average of success work for you! Tired of the "inept"? Call Adept toll free today at 888-477-6644.

We are listed under the following Categories/Subcategories:

Ingredients / Product Formulation
• Additive/Ingredient/Nutrient Analysis
• Dairy
• Extraneous Matter Analysis
• Flavor Development
• Foodservice Product / Process Development
• Ingredient Brokers
• Product Development
• Sensory Evaluation
• Shelf Life Testing

Laboratory
• Analytical Testing/Lab Services
• Microbiological Testing
• Nutrient Labeling
• Physical Properties Analysis

Marketing
• Consumer Testing
• Marketing Consulting
• Product Retrievals/Recalls

Plant / Processing / Packaging
• Aseptic Technology
• Contract Processing/Packaging
• Engineering / Design Services
• Freeze Drying
• Microencapsulation
• Microwave Technology
• Package Development/Design
• Package Testing
• Process Development
• Quality Assurance/Control
• Spray Drying

Regulatory
• Regulatory/Legal Consulting

Ancillary Services
• Management Consulting
• Publications
• Technology Transfer
• Trade/Scientific/Professional Association

Laboratory
• Nutrient Proximate Analysis

Ancillary Services
• Formulating tools
• Turnkey Operations

http://servicesdirectory.ift.org/cms/?pid=3004&keywordId=6&keywords=Ingr...

12 companies are listed under "Ingredient Brokers"
You may reorder these results by: State :: Country :: Company
Adept Solutions, Inc.
Soquel, CA, USA Almond Board of California
Modesto, CA, USA Bunge North America, Inc.
Bradley, IL, USA
Dr. Paul Lohmann, Inc.
Islandia, New York, USA ESCALADE LTD / LATITUDE LTD
Huntington, New York, USA Grain Millers, Inc.
Eugene, OR, USA
National Starch Food Innovation
Bridgewater, NJ, USA NewOrganics
Ann Arbor, MI, USA P. L. Thomas
Morristown, NJ, USA
Premium Ingredients International
Carol Stream, IL, USA TIC GUMS
Belcamp, MD, USA The Scoular Company
Minneapolis, MN, USA

 

http://www.foodmaster.com/results/listing?code=297&company=2644051&page=1
Food Master > Wellness Directory Listings
< Back

Company Information:
Name: Adept Solutions, Inc.
Division: Soquel Research Park Labs.
Address: 725 Paradiso Ct.
Soquel, CA 95073-2347
UNITED STATES
Phone: (831) 477-1344
Fax: (831) 477-1348
Email: info@adepthq.com
Website: www.ift.org

Products:
• Botanicals, Guarana
• Botanicals, Gymnema Leaves
• Dietary Fiber, Oligosaccharides & Prebiotics, Chitosan
• Excipients & Processing Aids, All

 

Response to accusations that Agave is not what it is supposed to be by Craig Gerbore, Owner of Madhava

I think that article is designed to defame agave, and contains many mistatements and scare tactics to drive home a slanted message. Please read over some of the points below and also please consider the authors source, Russ Bianchi.

Rami Nagel was very selective with the information he used, he certainly ignored a large body of info on the subjects he addresses. It is unbalanced, and much of it is out of context. I think there is plenty of unbiased information available out there if one seeks it out.
Mr Nagel created quite a storm of controversy for the agave industry, one which he has personally avoided since.
The following is part of my response and what follows are comments posted by an individual on a site which ran the article, plus some more comments. I still have a number of things to comment on and I hope to one day soon have a coherent full length piece to address all of their contentions.
In response, I must first point out that Mr. Nagel’s article is based primarily on the view of Russ Bianchi. There is some background information about Mr. Bianchi to follow.
The author states “The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice.”
This statement, which is the foundation of much of their argument comparing agave nectar to corn syrup, has no basis in scientific fact, THERE IS NO STARCH IN the agave.
How can the author be so mistaken on this statement which is central to his attack?
Agave plants have inulin, not starch. From Wikipedia: Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants. They belong to a class of fibers know as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a means of storing energy and it typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants which synthesize and store inulin do not store other materials such as starch.
There is no starch in agave, and agave nectar is not from starch as the author and Mr. Bianchi claim. They have tried very hard to propagandize the public with this false analogy.
Such an error of fact certainly casts doubt on the validity of the rest of Nagel’s article, as the lack of depth of his research has to be apparent to all. Really, he is just reiterating the singular view of Mr. Bianchi.
I personally spoke with the author during his “research”, as did at least one other in the industry. He chose not to include one word of the information given him by us.
“HFCS is made with GM enzymes”. Bianchi’s states “they (agave and corn syrup) are indeed made the same way” This is another false assertion. Our agave nectar is not made the same way as corn syrup. There is no starch in our agave. There are no chemicals, no refinement beyond the evaporation of water. And, there are no GMO enzymes involved.
Other points regarding fructose apply to sugars in general and are a consumption, or overconsumption issue. Certainly consuming large amounts of sweeteners of any kind will be detrimental to one’s health. Suggesting fructose could cause health issues when concentrated amounts are eaten is a statement which should really apply to the overconsumption issue. The information the author links to agave nectar is the result of megadose testing of pure clinical fructose and is pulled out of context. This is not the same thing as normal daily use of agave nectar in the course of our meals.
The author has made a strong attempt to transfer the negative perception of corn syrup to agave, but it falls far short. That negative view goes beyond fructose, to the industry and production of the corn syrup, which also differ greatly from agave.
I’ve pointed out the fact that there is no starch in agave. Other differences would be that:
Corn syrup is made from milled corn, agave syrup is made from the juice of the plant.
Agave is an organic product, corn syrup is not.
Many corn crops are using systemic pesticides.
GMO’s are an acknowledged part of the corn industry. Agave has no GMO’s.
The carbon footprint of the corn and corn syrup industry is far larger than that of agave. Agave plants are maintained and harvested by people, not machinery.
The corn industry is controlled by major corporations, the agave nectar industry is made up of small businesses.
These points contribute to a negative view of corn syrup as well as highlight important differences between corn syrup and agave.
The antisweetener advocates just have to admit that it is the overconsumption of sugars that is the problem. Used in moderation, sugars serve a purpose, to make other foods and beverages more palatable. Affinity for sweet taste is a human trait that most want to satisfy. For those who use sweeteners, there are limited choices available and many choose agave for its particular attributes. It is a good choice. Agave’s neutral flavor suits the purpose. It is in fact low glycemic, organically certified and non allergenic. Many with diabetes and other special diets find it suitable for their use where other sweeteners are not. It’s easy to use and you can use less.
While it remains up to the individual to maintain balance in their diet and monitor their overall consumption of sweets, agave nectar does have advantages over other sweeteners and that is why it has become so popular and received so much attention today.

And here is a reader response posted on a site posting the article, addressing some of the scientific claims that were made.

Some more thoughts,
There are those who attack agave nectar based on its fructose content using a claim such as Fructose can lead to an increase in triglycerides. This claim is a good example of a half-truth.
To quote from the International Food Information Council website; http://ific.org/publications/qa/fructoseqa.cfm?renderforprint=1
“Triglyceride is a technical term for fat that occurs in food and in the body. Both dietary fat and carbohydrates contribute to the formation of triglycerides in the body but in different ways. Excess consumption of calories from fats, proteins, or carbohydrates-including starches and sugars-promotes accumulation of body fat”
A wide range of foods can lead to an increase in triglycerides, fructose is not singled out.
Notice above that it stresses excess consumption of calories. Most foods have calories that will promote body fat when consumed in too large a quantity. But, it is still the overall consumption level that should be at issue.
The answer is the same across the board, eat a balanced diet in moderate quantities. Everyone knows that, but with all the choices out there including so many poor ones, self control has become the real issue that each individual needs to address if they are truly interested in eating for better health.
So, an implication such as consumption of fructose can lead to increased triglycerides is a true statement that has been manipulated to convey a negative message.
One of the advantages of agave nectar is that it is sweeter and less is required for the desired taste. I hope it is clear that the author builds his arguement on erroneous non factual information. The purpose of the piece was to attack, not to educate.

Digging through the net, I've found Bianchi lists Ingredient Broker among his services. Further still, oligosaccharides are a product he deals in.
Russ Bianchi is the sole live source quoted. Here is some background information.
Background on Russ Bianchi, Adept Solutions Inc.
http://servicesdirectory.ift.org/cms/?pid=3003&companyId=2380251
Adept Solutions, Inc.
Russ Bianchi, Managing Director & CEO
725 Paradiso Court
Soquel Research Park Headquarters & Labs
Soquel, CA 95073-2347
USA

Phone: 831 477 1344
Fax: 831 477 1348

Description:
Adept Solutions, Inc. is a leading global product development and formulation firm specializing in new product creation and innovative existing brand, or product conversion, as well a recipe commercialization and standardization. Adept Solutions, Inc. expertise includes, but is not limited to, food, beverage, bakery, sweeteners, fruit, frozen, microwavable, ambient, aseptic, confectionery, chocolate, dairy, cereal, bars, tableting, capsules, meat, poultry, fish, cosmetic, nutritional and dietary supplements, pharmaceutical, pet products, expert witness services, sports, diet, medical, reliable co-packing and many other categories. With current consulting experience on 6 continents, Adept Solutions, Inc. has one of the finest success rates among all formulating firms globally for meeting or exceeding client's goals with commercially successful product launches at low costs.
Adept Solutions, Inc. is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists, and the American Association of Cereal Chemists, the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering, the American Association of Candy Technologists and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Adept Solutions, Inc., specializes, and is the technological leader in product development and conversion of proven significant shelf life extension, water activity control (Aw), higher yields, proven sports and dietary energy, satiety, crystal inhibition, efficacious diabetic products, functional bar manufacture, low calorie sweetening without adverse costs or side effects including heat products, flavor improvement or masking, fat reduction, high fiber, microwavability, equilibration, oxidation, anti-staling, and many other disciplines.
All of our finished products and formulations have great taste, clean labeling, manufacture in existing plant and equipment, and have affordable formulation costs. Our turn-around times are notably faster than other firms in our category. Adept Solutions, Inc. offers free estimates on all projects, and we do not charge up front overt, or hidden fees. We have a complete satisfaction guarantee to our expertise for your products. Let our very high batting average of success work for you! Tired of the "inept"? Call Adept toll free today at 888-477-6644.

We are listed under the following Categories/Subcategories:

Ingredients / Product Formulation
• Additive/Ingredient/Nutrient Analysis
• Dairy
• Extraneous Matter Analysis
• Flavor Development
• Foodservice Product / Process Development
• Ingredient Brokers
• Product Development
• Sensory Evaluation
• Shelf Life Testing

Laboratory
• Analytical Testing/Lab Services
• Microbiological Testing
• Nutrient Labeling
• Physical Properties Analysis

Marketing
• Consumer Testing
• Marketing Consulting
• Product Retrievals/Recalls

Plant / Processing / Packaging
• Aseptic Technology
• Contract Processing/Packaging
• Engineering / Design Services
• Freeze Drying
• Microencapsulation
• Microwave Technology
• Package Development/Design
• Package Testing
• Process Development
• Quality Assurance/Control
• Spray Drying

Regulatory
• Regulatory/Legal Consulting

Ancillary Services
• Management Consulting
• Publications
• Technology Transfer
• Trade/Scientific/Professional Association

Laboratory
• Nutrient Proximate Analysis

Ancillary Services
• Formulating tools
• Turnkey Operations

http://servicesdirectory.ift.org/cms/?pid=3004&keywordId=6&keywords=Ingr...

12 companies are listed under "Ingredient Brokers"
You may reorder these results by: State :: Country :: Company
Adept Solutions, Inc.
Soquel, CA, USA Almond Board of California
Modesto, CA, USA Bunge North America, Inc.
Bradley, IL, USA
Dr. Paul Lohmann, Inc.
Islandia, New York, USA ESCALADE LTD / LATITUDE LTD
Huntington, New York, USA Grain Millers, Inc.
Eugene, OR, USA
National Starch Food Innovation
Bridgewater, NJ, USA NewOrganics
Ann Arbor, MI, USA P. L. Thomas
Morristown, NJ, USA
Premium Ingredients International
Carol Stream, IL, USA TIC GUMS
Belcamp, MD, USA The Scoular Company
Minneapolis, MN, USA

 

http://www.foodmaster.com/results/listing?code=297&company=2644051&page=1
Food Master > Wellness Directory Listings
< Back

Company Information:
Name: Adept Solutions, Inc.
Division: Soquel Research Park Labs.
Address: 725 Paradiso Ct.
Soquel, CA 95073-2347
UNITED STATES
Phone: (831) 477-1344
Fax: (831) 477-1348
Email: info@adepthq.com
Website: www.ift.org

Products:
• Botanicals, Guarana
• Botanicals, Gymnema Leaves
• Dietary Fiber, Oligosaccharides & Prebiotics, Chitosan
• Excipients & Processing Aids, All

 

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