By Micah Hanks
Tequila aficionados are no longer the only ones lauding the present over-abundance of Agave, a plant used in the distillation of the Southwestern liquor famously used in Margaritas (and hangovers). Now, the Agave plant has also been associated with beneficial prebiotic bacteria, according to a new study.
Researchers with Reading University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico suggest in the study that Agave displays prebiotic activity, as observed in samples of inulin extracted from the plant. The beneficial bacteria present in the samples, according to experts, may provide both a useful and cost-effective alternative to chicory inulin, which presently dominates the market. However, Inulin extracted from Agave tequilana managed to similarly boost levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, two bacteria that are commonly used in commercial inulins, as well as a host of other components.
The study appeared recently in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, stating that both the proliferation of Agave in Mexico, as well as the the cost-effective benefits of prebiotic fibers obtained from the plant, may be useful in the near future. The report reads:
Currently, there is an overproduction of Agave plants in Mexico, and there is a high interest in its high fructan concentration to explore this natural resource as fibre, sweeteners and supplement ingredients… As Agave represents a very important agricultural resource in Mexico, industries could be encouraged to use it as a cheaper source of inulin compared with the derived from imported brands.”
To read more about the study and its implications, click here.