Yacón Syrup is made from 100% Yacón root. Yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a member of the sunflower family and a close relative of the Jerusalem artichoke. It is predominantly grown along the Andes region in the country of Peru. It has been commercially cultivated in Brazil and Japan for several years.
The yacón fruit resembles that of a root crop that can be eaten fresh, or as a juice, marmalade or as a syrup. The tuber can also be sliced and dehydrated into chips. Other parts of the yacón plant such as the leaves are processed into tea products.
Composed mainly of water and carbohydrates, the sweetness of the tuber comes from a high concentration of oligofructose and a small amount of simple sugars, which is why yacón provides very few calories. With a glycemic index range between 1-3, it is a highly recommended sweetener for diabetics, even better than agave syrup.
Oligofructose, also known as Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or oligofructan is derived from partial enzymatic hydrolysis inulin. FOS helps nourish and promotes growth of good bacteria, specifically Bifidobacteria in the digestive tract, therefore FOS is considered to be a prebiotic.
To prevent degradation of oligofructose or FOS, the freshly harvested tubers are processed immediately. In the case of yacón syrup, it is evaporated at a temperature below 120°C, thus giving yacón syrup raw food status.
The process to make yacón syrup involves juicing the yacón tubers and then concentrating the juice to about 50-60 Bx. The colour is similar to Maple Syrup and Molasses, but 40% less calories than Maple Syrup and less viscous. There is a new, clarified version of yacón syrup which has a close resemblance to honey.