Daniel Trujillo-Ramírez, Ma. Guadalupe Bustos-Vázquez, Alejandro Martínez-Velasco, Rodolfo Torres-de los Santos


Background. The Conventional use of henequen (Agave fourcroydes), has mainly focused on the use of the leaves for the production of fiber. However, there are other components such as the stem (“pineapple”), the spines, and the by-product of fiber generation (leaf juice) in which we should pay attention to. Objective. To provide a systematic analysis of the biotechnological overview from those investigations where the potential of each of the structural components of A. fourcroydes is being studied. Methodology. A systematic review of the literature was carried out, based on the PRISMA protocol (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses), search for information was carried out in the most prominent databases (Redalyc, SciELO, Scopus, Elsevier, EBSCO, and Google Academic, using A. fourcroydes as the main keyword, using inclusion and later exclusion criteria according to the literature found, in the period from 1990 to 2022, which allowed a broader perspective on this crop and its biotechnological importance. Main findings. In the bibliographic review more information was found on the applications of the plant in an integral way, so that bioactive compounds such as fructans, flavonoids, and sterols can be obtained from the henequen stem, which can be incorporated into animal and human diets, while ethanol has been obtained from the juice of the leaves and the development of that of new materials using the fiber in a native and modified way to obtain fiber-reinforced mortars for its sustainable application in the construction industry. On the other hand, contributions were found on promising alternatives for the use of crops such as modified fibers, and combined with other compounds (composites) for the mechanical reinforcement of new materials. Implications. The literature consulted allows us to report that henequen (A. fourcroydes) is not only cultivated in the Yucatan Peninsula, but also in other regions such as the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where its use and commercial exploitation has not well documented. Conclusion. The bibliographical review allows us to deduce that the obtaining of new henequen compounds would revalue their integral use and use in different industries.


Fiber; health ingredients; structural components; composites materials; and fructans.

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