A Comprehensive Chemical and Nutritional Analysis of New Zealand Yacon Concentrate

Foods. 2022 Dec 23;12(1):74. doi: 10.3390/foods12010074.


Global interest in yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is growing due to its potential as a functional food, attributable to its unique profile of bioactives and high fructooligosaccharide (FOS) content, which vary between cultivars. Our objective was to conduct a comprehensive chemical and nutritional analysis of New Zealand yacon concentrate (NZYC)-a sweet syrup derived from the roots of cultivar 'New Zealand', which was first grown in the 1980s. The major minerals in NZYC were potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. The FOS content ranged from 17.6 to 52.7 g/100g. Total phenolic content ranged from 565 to 785 mg gallic acid equivalents per 100 g; chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid were the major phenolic compounds. The major amino acids were L-arginine, L-glutamic acid, L-proline, L-aspartic acid, and asparagine. The major organic acids were citric, malic, quinic, and fumaric acids. Antioxidant activity ranged from 1084.14 to 3085.78 mg Trolox equivalents per 100 g depending on the assay used. The glycaemic index (GI) value was 40 ± 0.22, classifying it as a low-GI food. These results support the classification of NZYC as a nutraceutical food product for future diet therapy applications.

Keywords: antioxidant activity; free amino acids; fructooligosaccharides; glycaemic index; mineral profile; organic acids; phenolic profile; yacon concentrate.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.