Yacon Syrup and the Glycemic Index

May 1, 2023 | Jerry Black | |

Yacon syrup scores best in the Glycemic Index for sweeteners that are sugar-based because it derives its sweetness from fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Fructooligosaccharides are short-chain sugars that pass through the body’s digestive tract as soluble fiber, without being absorbed or metabolized. A lower caloric count results from this process. FOS provides only about 1/3 of the calories as sugar (sucrose). The undigested portion of the FOS serves as a prebiotic providing nutrition for “good” bacteria found in the gut such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a specified amount of food will cause a rise in the blood sugar (glucose) level. Numbers typically range from 1 to 100. Foods with higher index values raise blood sugar more rapidly than foods with lower glycemic index values do.

Here is a comparison of some of the common liquid-form sweeteners:

How is Yacon Syrup is Made?

To make the syrup, the tuberous roots are harvested and carefully selected for processing. They are then washed, peeled and ground down or pressed selected for processing.

Is it Raw?

While many brands claim to have raw Yacon syrup, the temperatures reached during processing, especially the flash pasteurization process, make this claim impossible.  In order for a product to be considered truly raw, it can never reach temperatures over 40–49°C/104-120°F. While every effort is made to maintain lower levels of heat during this process, Yacon syrup must be pasteurized before bottling.

They are then washed, peeled and ground down or pressed to extract the juice. After the juice is filtered, the moisture is dehydrated at temperatures between 40 – 70°C/104-156°F to produce the thick syrup. Once this process is complete, the syrup is flash pasteurized at temperatures between 80 and 100°C/176-212°F to minimize heat degradation.

Although the process is brief, it can reach temperatures up to 100°C/212°F. This means the product is NOT raw.

How do I use Yacon Syrup?

Yacon Syrup can be used in place of other sweeteners. ¼ tsp of Yacon syrup is equal to 1 tsp of sugar or honey. It can be used in smoothies, oatmeal, or over pancakes or waffles.

Use in baking to replace molasses, maple syrup, honey or agave. A wonderful addition to salad dressings, marinades, and other sauces.

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