Yacón syrup is a sweetening agent extracted from the tuberous roots of the yacón plant (Smallanthus sonchifolius) indigenous to the Andes mountains.
It was used by the Incas. In Peru, people eat yacón because of its nutritional properties—few calories and low sugar levels. In Bolivia, yacón roots are eaten by people with diabetes or other digestive and renal disorders. In Brazil, the dried leaves are used to make yacón tea, said to be antidiabetic.
The syrup contains up to 50% of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). The consumption of FOS does not increase blood glucose; however, the root consists of primarily free fructose at about 35%.
It is usually made with an evaporator, like the ones used to make maple syrup. It has a taste similar to molasses or caramelized sugar. In a study by Yoshida et al. (2002), an enzyme solution of yacón was determined to be a better antioxidant than enzyme solutions of potato, mushroom, eggplant and edible burdock.
In a study by Genta et al., it was shown that a daily intake of yacón syrup produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index when given to obese pre-menopausal women.
I did find the taste a little hard to get used to at first. I finally started using it to sweeten my tea and was able to enjoy it a little more.
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