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Recent Pat Biotechnol. 2009;3(3):185-91.

Agaves as a raw material: recent technologies and applications.

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  • 1Centro de Biotecnologia Genómica-Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Blvd Del Maestro esq Elias Piña, Col. Narciso Mendoza 88710, Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.


Agave plants are a valuable source of raw material due to its fibrous and complex sugar content of their leaves and core, and their bagasse waste can be use for several aims. This plant genus belongs to the Agavaceae family and until now more than 200 species have been described. A large number of Agave species are currently used as raw material in several biotechnological processes. This review shows the reported applications and patents on fields like alcoholic brewages with special reference to Tequila and Mezcal, the isolation and use of compounds such as saponins and agave fructans, and their potential biotechnological application on several human demands. The process to obtain fibers and cellulose, stock feeds, and several miscellaneous extractives are also reviewed. Some possibilities and problems of cultivation are discussed.

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