Agave Quality Profile and Authentication Methods Established

by GotAgave Expert: Craig Gerbore

Updated September 19, 2012

The information which follows outlines a milestone of achievement for the Agave Industry. Assuring the consumer of the purity of the product has been of great importance to the industry from the beginning.

The IOAA, the American Botanical Council, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and I are proud to announce that a scientifically established quality baseline and purity assurance process have been successfully developed and submitted for publication. Further details below.

News about Agave Syrup Purity

The International Organic Agave Alliance (IOAA), funded Agave Syrup industry leaders, sponsored a scientific research project conducted by Dr. Nicholas Low at the University of Saskatchewan. Started in May 2011, the purpose and results of the study included establishing the product profile and the confirming quality assurance methodology. By application of this methodology, researchers were able to successfully and repeatedly identify pure and intentionally adulterated samples. The study, submitted June 26, 2012 to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and subsequently published, will be available to laboratories, the trade and the public.

Dr. Nicholas Low comments:

“Two analytical protocols were developed and applied to this purity and adulteration study, a high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-PAD) and capillary gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (CGC-FID).

Employing the aforementioned HPAE-PAD and CGC-FID protocols and a broad range of agave syrup samples, profile of 100 % pure agave syrup were established and all of the targeted commercial adulteration sweeteners detected and documented. The study includes the testing procedures and result profiles to be used by commercial laboratories.”

The IOAA has also sponsored two other studies conducted by the American Botanical Council. American Botanical Council Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal notes that:

“There is ongoing concern among responsible elements of the herb, dietary supplement, and natural foods industries regarding accidental and intentional adulteration of various ingredients; and, the methods to assure that ingredients are pure.

With the new analytical method developed by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan sponsored by the International Organic Agave Association, the IOAA has taken a significant step toward providing members of the agave syrup industry with a much-needed tool to help maintain the authentic quality of these syrups by determining the possible presence (or absence) of adulterants made of conventional commercial sweeteners.”

By making these studies widely available, the IOAA accomplishes two industry goals. First, the studies are part of the industry-wide effort to ensure quality assurance of agave syrup.  Second,  they provide confidence to consumers that agave syrup is a viable alternative sweetener they can use every day.

For additional information about the IOAA and the studies, go to


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