Wholesome! Organic Raw Blue Agave is a natural sweetener harvested from the core of the Blue Agave plant. This agave is a mild delicious syrup that is a ideal for sweetening beverages, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, cereal and more. It is also great in smoothies, iced tea, or cocktails as it dissolves quickly in cold beverages. Agave is easy to bake with as well. Try it wherever you would use a tabletop sugar. Wholesome! Organic Raw Blue Agave is low glycemic with a glycemic index of 39 or less. You get natural sweetness without the blood sugar spike. Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave syrup has been tested by an independent glycemic lab. Glycemic index will vary from person to person, depending on how each person metabolizes sugar and on other foods consumed at the same time.
The fair trade certified logo is Wholesome!'s guarantee that their farming cooperatives are paid directly for the sugar cane they grow and mill. This means that the farmers can compete with factory farms, cultivate the quality of their crops, send their kids to school and build thriving communities. Thank you for choosing Wholesome!
Sadly, there has been a great deal of myths about agave on the internet. Wholesome! encourages their consumers not to believe the hype which is based on the criticism of High Fructose Corn Syrup and the erroneous assumption that agave is similar because it naturally contains fructose. Other foods that are naturally high in fructose include honey, raisins and dates, non of which have been compared to HFCS. Because the corn used to produce HFCS is genetically modified, large quantities of chemical pesticides and herbicides are used to grow and harvest the corn. Since Wholesome!'s agave is organic, no chemical pesticides or herbicides are used which is good for the planet and the health of farmers and their families. Fructose and glucose are common sugars. Table sugar, sucrose, is a natural combination of equal parts of fructose and glucose. Honeys naturally contain fructose and glucose in varying levels (depending on what the bees forage on-it can contain a high percentage of fructose or glucose, or nearly replicate sucrose in its balance of both). Because HFCS has a high glucose content, it will spike blood sugar.
Wholesome! Organic Agave has been independently tested by third party labs to show it is low glycemic and will not spike blood sugar. High fructose corn syrup was developed in food laboratories the 1970s as a cheap sweetener and bulking agent. It is produced from modified corn syrup, which, in turn, is made from genetically modified corn. While Wholesome! is an adamant opponent of genetically modified organisms and foods derived from them, they are equally concerned about the sheer volume of HFCS that most Americans consume, without even knowing that they're eating it. It's a key ingredient in so many of the packaged/manufactured foods on grocery store shelves-and those super-sized sodas. More than 30% HFCS in most cases. It's an industrial ingredient (you can't by it in the grocery store-it's made exclusively to meet the varying needs of food manufacturers). Depending on the manufacturer's application, the syrup is modified to hold as little as 30% fructose or as much as 90%.
Awareness, and reading ingredient labels, is critical. And moderation is key. To convert the agave's inulin liquid into a syrup your body can digest comfortably, it must either be enzymatically modified or exposed to heat. It's the exposure, not the temperature, that converts the inulin to fructose and glucose. They insist on the latter method: in the case of the raw, they expose the liquid to gentle heat for a very long period of time. They have detailed reports and analyses on every single batch of agave syrup they supply. Each batch must pass their extensive testing before it is bottled.
Why does agave sometimes have bubbles at the top? Is this normal and safe?
Wholesome!'s agave ships from Sugar Land, Texas to stores all over the country. Sometimes the bottles get jostled during the shipping process which produces the bubbles. Since the liquid is so thick, the bubbles tend stick around for a little while. But don't worry, Wholesome! Organic Agave is perfectly safe for consumption.
How is Organic Blue Agave Syrup made?
Organic Blue Agave succulent plants shape the native landscape, adding color and character to thousands of acres of Jalisco's subtropical region. Blue agave (Agave tequilana var. Weber), a member of the Agavaceae family (cousin to Joshua trees and yucca plants), is a slow-growing plant that spreads runners from a "mother" plant. The runners are then harvested and replanted; some are cultivated for blue agave nectar (or tequila), while others become new mother plants. Grown to USDA Organic Standards, the agave is cultivated and processed without chemicals or genetic modification.
After growing for 5 to 7 years, a mature blue agave plant stands 6 to 8 feet tall and its "sugar" is at its peak. The blue agave's treasure is held in the piña or core of the plant. It is called a piña because it resembles a pineapple after the leaves have been trimmed away. Wax in the blue agave's long leaves gives the species its bluish color.
Farmers hand-cut the blue agave with a simple razor-sharp blade. (A skilled farmer can cut and trim a 100- pound blue agave piña in less than 5 minutes.) The field trimmings are left behind to restore the soil and reduce erosion. The fibrous blue agave piñas are then taken to the mill where it is pressed and its inulin-rich juice is collected and cleaned.
Agave's natural inulin, a dietary fiber made up of complex carbohydrates, is not sweet by nature. Heating (or hydrolyzing) the inulin transforms it into sweet nectar. When making the Light Blue Agave nectar, the juice is heated to 161ºF (72ºC). However, when making the Raw Blue Agave nectar, the process is lower and much slower: the juice is warmed slowly and the low heat is maintained for nearly twice as long. In this simple process, the inulin becomes fructose, a slowly metabolizing simple sugar found in many fruits and vegetables.
When agave piñas are crushed, the collected liquid oxidizes (much in the same way an apple turns brown when exposed to air). Filtering determines the blue agave nectar's flavor and color. According to Wholesome! preferences, the Light Blue Agave is simply more filtered than its Raw-Amber counterpart. Light Blue Agave enhances food's natural flavors while Raw Blue Agave imparts a rich, subtly complex sweetness. Whether Light or Raw, the end result is the same: a sweet, low glycemic organic nectar that's perfect for baking, beverages, fresh fruit and table top use.
The simple organic process at the mill:
Milling and juicing: the Blue Agave piñas are crushed and milled; all of the raw juices are collected in tanks and the rest of the piñas' fibers are recycled.
Filtering: The blue agave juices are filtered through carbon-activated filters.
Hydrolysis: In this stage, the inulin in the agave juice is gently heated to convert it into sweet agave syrup.
2nd Filtering: For food safety, the agave nectar is filtered a second time.
The organic blue agave juices are thickened slowly by evaporation at a tepid temperature.
What is the difference between Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave and Wholesome! Organic Raw Blue Agave?
Wholesome! offers two types of agave. Their Organic Blue Agaves are a natural sweetener extracted from the core of the Blue Agave plant. Both the light and raw agaves are sweet, mild and 25% sweeter than sugar, so more is less! They are the perfect multi-purpose sweetener for beverages, fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal and general table-top use. They both have a Glycemic index of 39 or less so they sweeten without the blood sugar spike. Both light and raw agave are fair trade certified, Organic and GMO-Free, and appropriate for vegan and plant-based diets. Organic Blue Agave is non-crystallizing and quick dissolving with a bright sweetness that quickly dissipates. It is perfect in baked goods, fresh fruit and smoothies, salad dressings and savory sauces. The main difference between Wholesome! Organic Light and Raw Blue Agave is that the Organic Raw Blue agave is produced in such a manner that it is suitable for those individuals who choose to live by a raw foods diet. The Raw Agave is less filtered, and also exposed to a lower temperature for a longer period of time. The flavor profiles are also different, with the Raw being more full bodied, while the Light lending a pure sweetness to anything you like. You can use used both in anything from iced-tea to pancakes at breakfast.
Why is Wholesome! Organic Raw Blue Agave darker than the Organic Light Blue Agave?
When the blue agave is crushed, the juice (inulin, an oligofructose) oxidizes instantly. At the beginning of the conversion process, all of their organic agave nectar is a dark brown liquid. While the heating process defines their agave's "raw" condition, it's the filtering that defines the color and flavor- light vs. raw. There are some other raw agave brands on the market that are very pale due to increased filtering and don't have the same flavor profile as Wholesome!. Filtering takes out more than just color, it also removes those subtle flavor characteristics that help set Wholesome!'s apart from the other brands.
Is Wholesome! Organic Agave Cold pressed?
Wholesome! Organic Agave is not cold pressed. Cold pressing is a technique used mainly with oils.
Can Wholesome! Organic Agave be consumed by diabetics?
Wholesome! Organic Blue Agaves are low Glycemic sweeteners, meaning that they have a Glycemic Index of 39 or less, so they provide a natural sweetness without the blood sugar spike. For specific concerns regarding your health, Wholesome! always suggests speaking with your healthcare provider.
What is the pH of Wholesome! Organic Agave?
Wholesome! Organic Agaves are acidic with a pH ranging from 4.3 to 4.8.
What percent of fructose is in Wholesome! Organic Agaves?
75% fructose, 20% glucose (also called dextrose), with small amounts of inulin and mannitol. Agave is a naturally occurring fructose, much like the fructose in apples. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a manufactured fructose. Corn does not produce fructose naturally it has to be chemically altered. Wholesome! Organic Agave is GMO free as are all Wholesome! products. They always recommend all sweeteners be consumed in moderation and if you are diabetic, watching your weight, or have other health issues, Wholesome! highly recommends that you speak with your healthcare professional before you choose a sweetener. Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave is a great tasting, low glycemic, versatile sweetener that can be used in place of sugar.
What is the difference between agave nectar and agave syrup?
The two terms are interchangeable. The only thing present in Wholesome! Organic Agave is 100% Syrup/Nectar from the Organic Blue Agave plant.
Is agave absorbed by the body the same way as Dextrose or Maltodextrin?
Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave is a natural blend of fructose and glucose (glucose is also called dextrose). It’s predominantly fructose, a low glycemic, slowly metabolizing common sugar which offers the body a gradual release of carbohydrate energy. Agave’s glucose content is only about 20%. Glucose metabolizes quickly, providing a short burst of energy. Maltodextrin is a complex lab manufactured sugar used as a food additive. It is made from starch, so it’s inexpensive. It is easily digestible and absorbed as rapidly as glucose, so it will spike blood sugar.
At Wholesome!, they are committed to providing the most delicious fair trade certified, organic, natural and Non-GMO Project verified sweeteners sourced from ethically and environmentally responsible growers and manufacturers. They provide safe and flavorful sweeteners that are produced with respect for food safety, the environment and human welfare. They strongly believe in the importance of sustainable and organic agriculture to encourage a safe and beautiful future for the planet and its people. They believe protecting the environment through sustainable farming is critical to a healthy planet and healthy people. They believe that the farmers who feed the world every day deserve a fair price for the crops they grow.
Wholesome!, formed in 2001, is the nation's leading provider of sustainable, environmentally and ethically responsible, great tasting sweeteners. They specialize in supplying organic, fair trade certified, Non-GMO verified sugars, syrups and honeys, all made from nature's best resources. Wholesome!, headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, employs almost fifty people and sources natural sweeteners in seven countries around the globe. The company relaunched the Wholesome Sweeteners brand in 2015 as Wholesome!. The Wholesome! team pioneered the fair trade certification process for sugar and honey in North America. Since launching the first fair trade sugar and honey in America in 2005 and 2008 respectively, Wholesome! has paid more than $10 million in social premiums to benefit fair trade partners, farming and beekeeping cooperatives in the developing world. They thank you for purchasing Wholesome! brand products.
Mission & Values
Love, kindness and joy may not appear on their ingredient labels but they're in Wholesome!'s packages just the same. Each time you choose Wholesome! products, someone's life gets a little bit sweeter. They pour their whole heart into all they do. They are committed to organic and stay on the cutting edge of eco-friendly agriculture to ensure the smallest footprint possible. They are dedicated to fair trade and partner with caring farming families across the globe. Wholesome! partners are guaranteed a fair price so they can treat their loved ones well. Live Sweetly.
Wholesome! pioneered the certification process for fair trade certified sugar and honey in the USA in 2005 and 2008 respectively. The fair trade certification guarantees farmers receive a fair price for their crops plus an additional premium payment that is democratically used to benefit the community. Wholesome! has paid more than $10 million in social premiums to benefit their fair trade partners, farming and beekeeping cooperatives in the developing world.
The company has grown to become a recognized leader in socially and environmentally responsible business practices and products. Over 60 new products have been developed during the last 10 years and they are the first choice for many notable chefs and consumer good-food advocates alike. Wholesome! is the leading brand of organic sweeteners in grocery stores and the leading supplier of organic sweeteners to food companies as an ingredient.
In March of 2012, Arlon Group, a private equity firm based in New York, focused on food and agriculture, in partnership with Wholesome!'s management team and Edward Billington & Son, acquired a significant stake in the company. Arlon led the buyout of Wholesome! alongside Billington, Wholesome!'s management and several other investors. Imperial Sugar Company, one of Wholesome!'s original joint venture partners, sold all shares to the investor parties. Billington's continuing involvement, along with the retention and increased ownership stake of Wholesome! management, guarantees continuity of the consumer-focused philosophy and entrepreneurial culture.
Arlon Group invests in middle market companies across all stages of the food and agriculture supply chain, including production, processing, distribution, foodservice and retail. It seeks to achieve attractive long-term returns by combining its well-developed investment process in the food and agriculture sectors with the strategic insight of an experienced industry participant. Arlon Group believes that its long-term perspective, food sector expertise and commitment to partnering with management teams make it a strong partner to food businesses that are pursuing stable growth.
Edward Billington, 1826-1891
In 1858, Edward Billington, the youngest of twelve sons, set up a trading company in Liverpool, England. He started by trading tea and coffee. but within a few short years he had added sugar to his imports. Today, Edward Billington's & Son's is a diverse, international foods and agriculture group. It is one of Britain's largest, privately owned family businesses, recognized for quality, service and innovation. Established in 1858, it has more than 150 years of knowledge and experience in organic and all-natural farming and extensive expertise in sourcing the finest quality sugars across the globe. In 1992, Billington's was the first company in the world to bring a certified organic sugar to market.
With new ownership, Wholesome! continues to focus on providing their customers with the highest quality, most ethically sourced and fairly traded sustainable sweeteners.