The plant saves water throughout its life and flowers only once in its lifetime. The saved water enables the agave to develop a fast growing and maybe the tallest flower on earth. After its time of flowering, the life of the agave plant ends with the dispersal of its seeds and a hardening of its stem into wood. Follow the whole lifecycle below or watch our video on YouTube
The Agave develops a flower stem after 7 years, and sometimes it takes more than 30 years. The flower stem resembles a giant Asparagus which can be, depending on the species, as high as 12 meters and can grow at a rate of up to 1.5 meters per week (14-20 cm a day!).
After blossoming, the flower dries out and forms a seed pod. The autumnal winds spread the seeds for reproduction and the rains of the winter help them to germinate.
The kernel (known as Piña), which resembles a giant pineapple, is revealed by cutting away the leaves. The revealed kernel contains the highest quantity of sugar which is used for a great variety of bio-products, now produced on an industrial scale. Examples of these products are bio ethanol, a number of drinks and Inulin. Aguamiel, translated into English as “honey water”, can be extracted from plants aged from 6 to 8 years. A big Agave can supply between 8 to 15 liters per day and up to 1000 liters per plant. This nutritive juice contains more calcium than cow milk and a total of 8 Minerals and 4 Vitamins. The extracted Aguamiel can be transformed into a healthy sweetener in the form of Syrup, which contains 70% fructose and 90% carbohydrates. Compared with the sugar obtained from cane or beetroot, it tastes 20% sweeter and can be used by diabetics. The Aguamiel can be fermented for a period of about 10 days after which a traditional Mexican drink named Pulque is produced. This fermented beverage is also known as Agave beer or Agave wine. Pulque has been brewed for at least 2000 years and has been used in ceremonies and rituals throughout the ages. Tequila is the most famous alcoholic beverage produced from A.Tequilana and it is consumed all over the world. Mexico produces more than 200 million liters of Tequila per year and it is one of the biggest and most important economic export products of the country. The purity is controlled by the “Consejo Regulador de Tequila” (CRT). International law states that other kinds of Tequila spirits can only be sold as “Tequila” if they contain at least 51% Agave. Another type of spirit obtained from the Piña is known as Mezcal.
Watch video on YouTube
Principal Uses of the Agave with social-economic and agro-ecologic importanceness
|USES||PRODUCTS||PART OF THE AGAVE|
|FOODS||Fructose syrup, healthy sweeteners, Inulin & Pulque bread Guisos y sweets Barbecue Worms||Piña Flower & fruit Flower stem & leave Leaves & piña|
|DRINKS||Aguamiel, atole, pulque, mezcal, tequila, vinager||Piña|
|AGRO-ECOLOGICAL||Living fence & soil furtherer Organic fertilizer||Whole plant Composted leave & piña|
|FODDER||Animal feedstock||Leave & Flower|
|CONSTRUCTION||Fencing, houses, corrals Roof tiles Thermic insulation Channels to collect rainwater||Flower stem & leave Leave Flower stem & fiber Leaves|
|FIBRES||Bio plastics, cellulose pulp and paper, rope & twine, baskets, brooms, brushes, geotextiles, carpets, fiber boards, molded furniture||Leave fibre|
|MEDICAL||Heals swellings, inner injuries and rheumatism Preventive to cancer & scurvy, reduces inflammation, cures anemia, heals wounds||Leave & root Nectar & Pulque|
|ORNAMENTAL||Handicrafts, musical instruments, Furniture Garden centers||Flower stem Whole plant|
|DOMESTIC||Soap & shampoo Needle & twine Flower pots, pencil holders, etc.||Leave, flower stem & roots Spikes y strand leaves Flower stem & piña|
|OTHER USES||Pharmaceutical & chemical industry, Ethanol (distilled and cellulosic), biogas, jet-fuel, biodiesel, bio coal, bio oil, buthanol, methanol, pellets, adhesive, insulating foam, concrete additive, biopolymers, acids, antifreeze, gel, esters, wax, etc.||Whole plant|
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