Yacon Syrup

Yacon syrup has many reported health benefits. It is made from a very sweet and edible root crop, which tastes like a combination between apple and melon [1]. The tuber contains approximately 90% water and has a white and crispy flesh. It is native to the Andes where it is usually eaten raw or sliced and added to green salads. It stores high concentrations of a complex carbohydrate called inulin (oligofructose or fructooligisaccharides). Inulin belongs to a class of compounds known as fructans. As well as the complex carbohydrates the root contains antioxidants [2, 6] and large quantities of potassium. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and iron are available in much smaller quantities. The syrup is made from concentrating the juice of the root and it has a high concentration of oligofructose.

Health Benefits

  1. The root has anti-microbial properties due to its polyphenolic (antioxidant) content
  2. Inulin and oligifructose are not digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract [3, 4]. They are:
    • Dietary fibres with very few calories [2,4]
    • They promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon, boost the immune system and improve intestinal health [1, 4]
    • They do not cause a rise in blood glucose and nor do they stimulate insulin secretion. They can, therefore, be consumed by diabetics [2]They significantly increase calcium [3, 5] and magnesium [3] absorption
  3. The syrup can be used as a natural sweetener in teas, smoothies, desserts and baking

References

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