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Analysis of Agave Syrup

Jan 12, 2018

We kindly want to inform you, that QSI Bremen also is offering analytical services for testing of Agave Syrup (“Agave Nectar”). We have more than 65 years experience in authenticity testing for honey analysis and recently developed methods can also be applied to agave syrup.

  1. Analyses according to NOM

The basis for the analyses is the official Mexican norm “NOM-003-SAGARPA-2016” which describes specifications of Agave Syrup and required analyses for export from Mexico.

Package A Agave Syrup

Package B: Microbiological Analysis (as required by NOM)

The Norm also requires testing for microbiological quality, which indicates good hygiene practice in production.

Package B Agave Syrup

Package C: HPLC-ECD (as required by NOM)

Besides testing for specification nowadays food authenticity is a big issue for vendors, buyers and costumers. Various techniques are available, all are focused on possible adding of foreign syrups to the agave syrup. Especially corn syrup (“HFCS”) is easy available, cheap and in the physico-chemical properties close to agave syrup. A test is also is required by the Norm, which bases mostly on the assumption, that foreign syrups contain residues from the individual production process which can be analytically visualized.

Package C Agave Syrup

This test is in implementation phase in QSI and can be offered in June 2017. It will be fully accredited according to ISO 17025 after method validation.

Additional recommended Analysis

As we know from our expert knowledge regarding honey adulteration, today sugar syrups are produced tailor made and nearly free of any marker substances or traces from the production or cleaning process. For this reason we developed further methods which are more sophisticated in detecting possible adulteration which cannot be seen via HPLC-ECD in the NOM.

  • Analysis by LC-IRMS

In this analysis the main 3 sugar fractions of the Agave Syrup (Fructose, Glucose, Fructanes) are separated and the 13C-isotopic value is measured per fraction. The 13C-isotope value depends on the photosynthesis pathway of the plant source of the syrup. The sugar fractions are expected to have the same 13C-value as the original Fructans. Adding syrups with different isotope values can be seen in a shift of fractions and difference between the fractions will increase. Comparable methods are used in honey since 1998.

  • Analysis by NMR

This analysis is the most powerful tool in the field of adulteration analysis because any organic substance shows a typical signal. The signal of agave syrup leads to a fingerprint with a large amount of signals from all components like sugars, amino acids, organic acids, phenolic compounds. Any deviation from a “normal” spectrum is noticeable. Due to longtime experience (in this relatively new technique of food analysis) of more than 3 years and full accreditation by the German Accreditation Body since May 2016 for all types of food, we are able to deliver reliable results.

To illustrate the power of this analysis find below some examples of agave syrups, which deviate from the majority of measured samples in our database. The colored area is the range of authentic agave syrup. Any major deviation from this zone indicates a difference to the database. The black spectrum is an example for an adulterated sample, four selected chemical shift regions are shown here:

We are pleased to make you an individual offer meeting your demands.

Please feel free to contact us!

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