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Economic Botany: Applied Plant Biology

Peralta-Garcia, Sarita [1], Ruiz-Font, Angelica del C. [1], Jiménez-Hernández, M. del Pilar [2], Trejo-Estrada, Sergio R. [1].

Fructan content of wild and cultivated Agave plants from Central Mexico.

Agave plants are important biological resources from semi-arid and arid areas in Central and South-central Mexico. Agave plants have been extensively used because of their high sugar content in the stem sap, as well as the fiber quality of their leaves. The most important kind of products obtained from agave plants are the traditional fermented and distilled beverages, such as pulque, mezcal and tequila. In contrast to Agave tequilana, Agave species from the highlands of Central and South-central Mexico have been less studied, and remain a poor raw material for industrial transformations. In the present study, samples of adult Agave plants where studied with respect to their total sugar content in stem tissues. Samples of wild Agave angustifolia, A. potatorum, A atrovirens plants were analyzed. Other samples, of cultivated plants from A. angustifolia were obtained from plantations established for the production of mezcal. A wide variability in total sugar content was found. HPLC analysis of sap samples demonstrated the presence of higher fructan content and lower free fructose concentration in Agave plants used for mezcal production, with respect to samples from agave plants for pulque production (A. atrovirens). A. angustifolia samples showed the highest sugar content, as well as the highest high DP (> 5000 Da) fructan content. Analysis of plants from agave cultivars for mezcal production, showed sharp changes with respect to both fructan content, and molecular weight distribution in agave plants of different ages (4, 6 and 8 years). Alternatives to mezcal production are analyzed as industrial possibilities of transformation for Agave angustifolia in impoverished areas of South-central Mexico.


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1 - Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro de Investigación en Biotecnología Aplicada, Ex-Hda. San Juan Molino, Tepetitla, Tlaxcala, 90700, México
2 - Instituto Politécnico Nacional, PTA-Biotecnología, Ex-Hda. San Juan Molino, Tepetitla, Tlaxcala, 90700, México

Keywords:
Agave
fructan
A. angustifolia 
Mexico.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P66002
Abstract ID:2154


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