What is Yacon Powder?

Yacon powder is a natural sweetener and prebiotic supplement made from the roots of the yacon plant.

What is Yacon Powder

Native to South America, yacon has been consumed for centuries for its sweet flavor and potential health benefits.

What is Yacon?

Yacon is a tuberous root vegetable that resembles a sweet potato. It comes from the Smallanthus sonchifolius plant, which is native to the Andes mountains in South America.

Also known as Peruvian ground apple, yacon is crisp and juicy like an apple, with a sweetness reminiscent of molasses or caramelized sugar.

Unlike most tubers, yacon roots contain very few digestible sugars like sucrose, glucose or fructose. The majority of its carbohydrates come from fructooligosaccharides (FOS) - a type of indigestible soluble fiber that feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

For this reason, yacon makes an excellent low-calorie natural sweetener and prebiotic supplement.

How is Yacon Powder Made?

Yacon powder is made by processing the roots of the yacon plant. Here's an overview of how it's made:

  • Yacon roots are harvested when fully mature, usually 8-10 months after planting.
  • The roots are washed, peeled and sliced.
  • Slices are dried at low temperatures until all moisture is removed. This preserves the natural prebiotic fibers.
  • Dried yacon slices are milled into a fine, velvety powder.
  • The powder is sieved to remove any impurities and ensure a smooth, free-flowing texture.
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are added during processing. The finished product is 100% pure yacon powder.

Key Takeaway: Yacon powder is made by drying and milling slices of the yacon tuberous root into a fine powder. No chemicals or additives are used.

Nutrition Profile of Yacon Powder

Here are the nutrition facts for a 1 tablespoon (8g) serving of yacon powder:

  • 30 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 7g carbs
  • 0g protein
  • 5g fiber (over 60% fructooligosaccharides)
  • 20mg calcium
  • 10mg magnesium
  • 200mg potassium

The main active components of yacon powder are:

  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): Indigestible soluble fibers that feed probiotics.
  • Inulin: A starchy polysaccharide that acts as a prebiotic.
  • Phenolic acids: Antioxidants like chlorogenic and caffeic acid.
  • Phytosterols: Plant compounds that help lower cholesterol.
  • Vitamins: Small amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E.
  • Minerals: Includes phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Yacon powder is low in calories and high in prebiotic fibers and antioxidants. It contains probiotics that feed your gut flora.

Health Benefits of Yacon Powder

Here are some of the top evidence-based health benefits of taking yacon powder:

1. Promotes Digestive Health

The fructooligosaccharides (FOS) in yacon function as prebiotics that feed probiotics. This helps promote:

  • Growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species.
  • Production of short-chain fatty acids like butyrate.
  • Better absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
  • Relief from digestive issues like constipation, bloating and diarrhea.

By improving gut flora, yacon powder enhances overall digestion and gut health.

2. Helps Control Blood Sugar

Human studies show yacon syrup and powder can lower blood sugar spikes after meals.

Researchers believe yacon's FOS and inulin fibers help slow glucose absorption and regulate insulin secretion. This beneficial effect on blood sugar control can help manage diabetes.

3. Aids Weight Loss

Several ways yacon may help with losing weight:

  • Low in calories and high in satiating fiber. This helps curb appetite and calorie intake.
  • FOS fibers are not absorbed and pass intact to the colon. This reduces overall energy absorption from food.
  • Feeds gut bacteria linked to lower obesity like Bifidobacterium.
  • May increase peptide YY levels which decreases hunger signals.

But more human research is needed to confirm yacon's weight loss benefits.

4. Natural Low-Calorie Sweetener

With only 30 calories per serving, yacon powder is a guilt-free way to add natural sweetness to foods and drinks.

It's a healthy alternative to table sugar and artificial sweeteners. The caramel/maple taste works well for sweetening:

  • Coffee, tea, oats, yogurt, oatmeal
  • Smoothies, protein shakes, juices
  • Pancakes, waffles, muffins, cakes
  • Puddings, ice cream, popsicles
  • Sauces, dressings, marinades

5. Has Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Yacon provides phenolic acids like chlorogenic acid that have antioxidant properties. These compounds help counter inflammation and oxidative damage linked to chronic diseases.

Yacon may also increase glutathione, the body's master antioxidant. This helps improve overall antioxidant status.

Key Takeaway: Yacon powder provides prebiotics to improve digestion, aids blood sugar control and weight loss, and provides antioxidants.

Is Yacon Powder Safe?

Yacon powder is generally well tolerated with very few side effects in most people. However, there are some safety considerations:

  • Since it's high in FOS fibers, start with small doses and increase slowly to avoid gas and bloating.
  • Avoid taking yacon if you have a fructose intolerance.
  • May interact with certain medications like anticoagulants and antiplatelets. Consult your doctor first.
  • Not recommended for pregnant women since human data are limited.
  • Some manufacturers blend yacon with cheap fillers like rice flour. Opt for 100% pure yacon powder.
  • Store in an airtight container away from heat, air and moisture.

So as long as you don't have any allergies and start slow, yacon powder is very safe to consume.

How to Take Yacon Powder

Here are some tips for taking yacon powder:

  • Dosage: Start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day and work up to 1-3 tablespoons per day.
  • When to take: Take it anytime - before, with or after meals.
  • Mix into foods/drinks: Dissolve it into yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, coffee, etc. The powder blends seamlessly into liquids and soft foods.
  • Use in baking: Replace up to 25% of the sugar in recipes with yacon powder. It works well in cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, etc.
  • Sample recipe: Try this yacon tonic - simply mix yacon powder into water for a prebiotic drink. Add lemon juice and stevia to taste.

Start slow with yacon powder, especially if you have IBS or digestive issues. Too much too fast may cause temporary gas, bloating or diarrhea.

Key Takeaway: Start with 1/2 to 1 tsp of yacon powder per day. Mix into foods, drinks, smoothies, yogurt or take it dissolved in water.

Where to Buy Yacon Powder

You can find yacon powder at most health food stores and online retailers like Amazon and Vitacost. When buying:

  • Look for 100% pure yacon root powder with no added ingredients.
  • Choose organic and non-GMO certified yacon powder.
  • Avoid products with rice flour fillers or anti-caking agents.
  • Seek reputable brands that source yacon from Peru or Ecuador.

Some of the top brands for pure yacon powder include Navitas Organics, Healthworks, Micro Ingredients and Whole Earth Sweetener Co.

You can also find many yacon syrup products, but powder is lower in sugar and easier to use.

Key Takeaway: Buy 100% pure organic yacon root powder from reputable brands. Avoid fillers or additives.

Yacon Powder vs. Yacon Syrup

Both yacon syrup and powder are made from yacon roots. Here's how they compare:

Yacon PowderYacon Syrup
Only ingredient is yacon rootHas added natural flavors, citric acid
100% usable prebiotic fiberSome prebiotic value destroyed during processing
Very low in sugarContains 35-50% fructose
0 calories per serving240 calories per 2 tbsp serving
Easy to add to foods & drinksHarder to dissolve and mix in
Longer shelf lifeShorter shelf life once opened
More versatileMainly used as sweetener or tonic
Lower glycemic impactCauses bigger spike in blood sugar
Less sweet than sugarSweeter than sugar
Subtle flavorStronger maple-like taste
Lower cost per servingHigher cost per serving

In summary:

  • Yacon powder is more pure, lower in sugar and calories, dissolves better and offers more usable prebiotic fiber.
  • Yacon syrup has a more pronounced sweetness and flavor but spikes blood sugar more. It also has a shorter shelf life once opened.

So yacon powder makes a healthier choice overall for using as a natural sweetener and prebiotic supplement. But both forms provide benefits.


Does yacon powder taste sweet?

Yes, yacon powder has a subtle sweetness similar to raisins, figs or bananas. It's not as sweet as sugar but offers a nice caramel/maple taste.

What's the best way to use yacon powder?

Mix it into yogurts, oatmeal, smoothies, coffee, juice, desserts, etc. You can also use it in baked goods by replacing up to 25% of the sugar.

Is yacon keto-friendly?

Yes, yacon powder is very low in digestible carbs and sugars. Its high fiber content makes it suitable for a keto diet.

Can yacon powder help you lose weight?

Yacon may aid weight loss in several ways - reducing calorie intake, increasing satiety, altering gut bacteria and supporting blood sugar control. But more research is still needed.

How long does opened yacon powder last?

It will stay fresh for 6-12 months in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Refrigeration can extend shelf life.

Does yacon taste like licorice?

Some people detect slight licorice notes in yacon's flavor profile along with raisin, fig, apple and caramel tones. But the anise flavor is subtle.


Yacon powder is a versatile low-calorie sweetener that offers prebiotic benefits for your gut. It's made from an exotic Andean root traditionally used as a natural remedy.

Adding yacon powder to your diet can boost healthy intestinal flora, aid digestion, improve mineral absorption, regulate blood sugar, promote weight loss and provide antioxidants.

Yacon has a mild and pleasant sweetness perfect for smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, coffee, tea, salad dressings, sauces, baked goods, desserts and more.

Opt for 100% organic yacon root powder from reputable brands. Start with small amounts and work up slowly to the full dosage of 1-3 tablespoons per day.

Pair yacon powder with probiotic foods and supplements to maximize the prebiotic benefits for your digestive system.

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