The use of Agave plants, Agave tequilana and Agave salmiana, as a sugar source for the production of tequila and mescal alcoholic beverages has been carried out for years. However, due to its low glycemic index (GI), and the bad publicity that surrounds high fructose corn syrups (HFCS), these products have recently found another outlet as sugar substitutes. As with all sugar-rich products there is always a risk that they will be extended with sugars from a cheaper source.
Eurofins utilizes both Oligosaccharide profile by Capillary Gas Chromatography and SNIF-NMR (Site-Specific Natural Isotope Fractionation-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) approaches to detect adulteration, both of which are fast and effective methods for identifying atypical profiles.
Oligosaccharide profile is relatively quick and can detect the addition of syrups derived from starch in addition to invert sugar.
The isotopic method provides an additional “high tech” approach to assess the product and will detect the presence of syrups that have been treated in such a way to remove the disaccharide marker peaks.