Evaluation of Treatments to Reduce Hardness of Agave americana Core

José A. Ramírez1, Rocio C. Gómez-Ayala1, Cuauhtémoc Jacques-Hernández2 and Manuel Vázquez3*

Department of Food Science and Technology, U. A. M. Reynosa-Aztlán, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Apdo. Postal 1015, 88700 Reynosa, Tamaulipas, México

2Centro de Biotecnología Genómica, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, 88700 Reynosa, Tamaulipas, México
3Área de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Departamento Química Analítica, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela – Campus de Lugo, E-27002 Lugo, Spain

Article history:

Received August 20, 2005
Accepted November 2, 2005

Key words:

Agave americana, inulin, hardness, colour


Agave americana contains inulin as storage carbohydrate. Therefore, agave is interesting to be used for the extraction of inulin by pressing. The yield of the process is low due to the high hardness of the core. The objective of this work was to evaluate pretreatments to reduce the hardness in the process of obtaining inulin by pressing. Treatments with water, sulphuric acid 1 % (by mass) or sodium hydroxide 1 % (by mass) were tested and optimized. The pretreatment of the core of A. americana with sulphuric acid 1 % allowed the reduction of hardness from 30 000 g to 2000 g of breaking force. The mathematical model obtained predicts an optimum processing at 84 °C during 75 min. The treatment with sulphuric acid 1 % also allows white core of A. americana to be obtained, while the other treatments provide yellow core. These results open a good alternative to obtain value added products from this resource.


*Corresponding author: 
                                               ++34 982 285 900 ext. 44 139
                                               ++34 982 285 926

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