Yacon - A Peruvian Super Root Cultivated In Sikkim

Yacon is a root crop from Peru, South America. We at Yacon India pioneered its cultivation in India in the high Himalayas of Sikkim in 2013-14. In 2018, we also pioneered the processing of this root into Yacon Syrup.

There were mainly two reasons my brother (Abhinandan Dhakal) and I chose to come back to Sikkim. One, we were pained by reduction in agriculture in the Himalayas. Second, we wanted to create a product(s) that would be disruptive in India.

We have worked on Yacon for a decade in Sikkim and have a network of 500 farmer families in Sikkim who grow Yacon roots from whom we source and minimally process it into Yacon Syrup. The farmers love this crop as it has a greater yield compared to other popular cash crop, ginger. The other reason is that the entire plant can be used for fodder for cows whereas, it is not possible for ginger.

You can read about our work in these links below:

  1. Yacon, wonder tuber from the Andes - almost no calories and does wonders for your health | South China Morning Post

Yacon Syrup is a low Glycemic Index, low calorie, Prebiotic sweet syrup that is a functional food. That is, it works like normal food.

In the case, of Yacon Syrup, it goes well in Nutrition bars, energy balls, and pairs well with chocolates, dips and sauces. It is a much healthier option compared to date syrup.
We are trying to popularize Yacon Syrup as an alternative to date syrup as an ingredient in products manufactured by clean label and health food brands.

It also works as a health supplement, for diabetics and those with gut metabolism issues. Till recently, we were only working on this aspect. This would be evident from the content of our website.

I hope to answer your questions and intrigue you enough to try our product.

Detailed FAQ on our website: FAQ – Yacon India

My best wishes,



Hey Abhimanyu

I had a few questions:

1)What are some potential challenges in processing Yacon roots into Yacon Syrup, and what steps have been taken to ensure the highest quality of the final product?

2)You mentioned Yacon Syrup works as a health supplement for diabetics and those with gut metabolism issues. Any comparative studies highlighting the advantages of Yacon Syrup over other sweeteners, such as its low glycemic index, calorie content, and prebiotic properties?

3)Any research or publications that discuss the environmental and agronomic aspects of Yacon cultivation, including sustainable practices and the crop’s impact on the Himalayan ecosystem.

4)Given that Yacon Syrup can be used as an ingredient in various food products, what efforts are you making to collaborate with clean label and health food brands to incorporate your syrup into their products? Have you worked with any brand?

5)Have you considered exploring international markets for Yacon Syrup? If yes, what challenges and opportunities do you foresee in exporting your product to other countries?

Shared by @Abhimanyu_Dhakal earlier. Some recipes that can be used with Yacon Syrup.
Yacon Syrup Recipe Book Compressed.pdf (3.8 MB)


  1. Can kids (2-10yo) and seniors (above 60+) consume this?
  2. Is this a complete replacement to refined sugar/ other forms of sweetener?

Used one spoon of the Yacon syrup for my overnight oats.
It tasted different and i like it :slight_smile:
Next time i’ll go sans the Peanut butter.

1 Like

Hello Dilip,

  1. Can kids (2-10yo) and seniors (above 60+) consume this?
    This is suitable for kids and old people.

Kids will simply love it as it is sweet.

For seniors (60+ years) the natural prebiotic nature of the product helps them keep an excellent gut health.

I want to stress on the regenerative aspect of gut bacteria. A natural prebiotic like Yacon Syrup helps that regeneration.

  1. Is this a complete replacement to refined sugar / other forms of sweetener?

In some cases, Yes. Those cases when you do not heat Yacon Syrup for prolonged periods of time. Use it as a binder in a nutritional bar, a spoon of Yacon Syrup in your dahi (curd), want to add some sweetness to your dip, add Yacon Syrup. I would avoid heating it too much to keep its nutritional content intact.

This is something that Mariam Begg from Bangalore made (Instagram: https://instagram.com/mari.b.kitchen?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ== )

1 Like

I have different recipe for my oats.

I take warm water, mix 1 table spoon of Yacon syrup and then soak the oats for 2/3 hours in it. Add a few walnut kernels and almonds.

1 Like

Used it in the smoothie for my 2yo. He dint reject it. So i’ll take it as a positive :grinning:


Hello Sagar,

The answers to your questions will be elaborate. I will answer each question separately for your ease as well as for those that join us on this thread. Further, I can answer further questions specific to that.

1)What are some potential challenges in processing Yacon roots into Yacon Syrup, and what steps have been taken to ensure the highest quality of the final product?


Harvest: During harvest, we have to ensure that the roots do not snap. Its high water content, make it susceptible to snap.

Solution: Our farmers are trained to harvest it in a way that reduces chances of the root breaking in half. Our grading team, rejects them at the farm gate itself.

Post Harvest: Its high water content makes it susceptible to fungal growth. Even though we have graded the roots at the farm, damage due to transport, exposure to heat (even though Sikkim is very cold during winters) may cause fungal growth in individual roots.

Solution: Grade again. Remove such Yacon roots. This double grading ensures that good roots are used in the final processing.

Processing Juice To Syrup: We use Vacuum Evaporation Methodology to reduce the juice to syrup. This preserves the nutritional content of the product. Once the syrup reaches a certain thickness and consistency, we remove it from the machine and shift it to a double jacketed heating device.

Final Product: In the double jacketed heating device, we further bring the product to the final bottled consistency. At this thickness / consistency, Yacon Syrup does not need any preservatives for storage. Once sealed, it has a good shelf life and taste is also good.

Challenges in the final product: Working without preservatives can be extremely tricky.

  1. Improper sterilization of the bottle can cause fungal growth.
  2. High water content of the syrup can cause fungal growth.

Solution: We have developed our own checks and balances (Standard Operating Procedures) at all stages of processing that gives a product of the highest quality.

Same happened to my gym instructor’s four year old twins. The kids don’t like curd. So he mixed a teaspoon of it in curd and gave it to them. They loved it. :slight_smile:

There are no such comparative studies available to the best of my knowledge. But, a simple search on the internet will give you a good understanding of Yacon Syrup.

I would just like to point out to the readers here that the Glycemic Index of Yacon Syrup was taken as 1 before January, 2023. As per a glycemic index study conducted by University of Sydney, it was found to be about 40. It still qualifies as a low GI product. Lower than date syrup, sugar, honey etc.

I still feel that Yacon Syrup’s best aspect is its prebiotic property. It beats all other sweeteners hands down.

We were involved in the following study conducted in Sikkim by GB Pant Institute and International Center For Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). We were the main partners that supplied the saplings as well as purchased the roots from the farmers.

Page 26: https://gbpihed.gov.in/PDF/Publication/Innovative_interventions_KLCDI_SRC_2021.pdf

Given below is our observation of working with Yacon for over a decade. We have not conducted an emperical study on this.

There is one aspect this study missed out on was its immense utility in dairy. Ginger is the main cash crop for the farmers apart from other horticulture products.
Ginger’s leaves, stems, roots cannot be used as fodder for dairy.

Yacon plant is excellent fodder for cows. Around end of autumn and onset of winter, the leaves and stem can be harvested phase wise (without disturbing the roots) for fodder. Use of Yacon leaves, stems, roots and its rhizomes have increased milk output as well as maintained high SNF. This results in good returns for the farmer.

In the initial period, we just focused on selling the product as a health food supplement. In the last one year, we decided to start promoting this product as a a clean label and healthy ingredient.

Our efforts have been ongoing for over 12 months. The first exercise we did was we collected around 400+ brands details and emailed them regarding our product and sent samples as well the way we sent to Rainmatter.

But, Sagar, you see, it is difficult to convince a brand to change their recipe or come out with a new recipe altogether.

We were pursuing a few popular D2C online brands that focus on exotic / healthy products for sometime. Things have moved forward with them and we hope to onboard them as our buyers.

Other than this, a few cafes in Gangtok use our product as a topping on their pancakes or in dips and sauces as a healthy option for their customers.

We also have a buyer who make meals / weekly meals / detox juices. ( https://instagram.com/mari.b.kitchen?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ== )

This June onwards we shifted our focus to LinkedIn. We started sending connection requests and started connecting with brand owners on LinkedIn. This has given us some traction. I have been able to reach out to some well known brands in India ( A special thanks to Nithin for replying to my post. )

Yes we have explored. We export to Nepal as of now. As a health supplement, our product has seen some traction in Nepal. The reason being that we have been using testimonials of our customers to market our product. Initially, most of our customers were Nepali speaking. This got us enough interest to find a buyer who would import it to their country.

The opportunities:

  1. Quality and price point wise, we are very competitive to South America.
  2. Europe, Japan and South Korea is familiar with Yacon Syrup.

The Challenges (We are on a tight budget at the moment):

  1. Product standardization - Consistency: The process is manual at the moment.
  2. ISO Certifications, Fairtrade, Organic.
  3. Expanding supply in case of sudden increase in demand.
  4. CapEx for cold storage, warehousing.

Btw, @Abhimanyu_Dhakal whats the shelf life for the syrup? There was no mention on the packaging. And what’s the ideal storage recommendation?

The shelf life is a year.

Since the product is without preservatives, it needs to be refrigerated once opened.

Hello everyone,

I am sharing a link to my interview with Green Tv India i did on Thursday 27/07/2023. It is in Hindi. The interview highlights our early journey of identifying and growing Yacon in Sikkim, manufacturing Yacon Syrup, product and customer profile evolution and our current outlook regarding Himalayas, farming and related issues.


Hi Abhimanyu,

I’ve been having the Yacon syrup alongwith Greek yoghurt as dessert when I’m craving something sweet, and I love the combo.

Didn’t find the nutritional profile of the syrup anywhere on the packaging. Can you share that ? Will help with the portion sizing

Hello Viraj,

I had sent the sample bottles out to your team. Let me share the image of the back of the packaging.

Hello again Viraj,

I am glad you like it. Taste wise, I always felt a Yogurt company is a perfect collaborator for us. The prebiotic - probiotic combo makes it killer. :slight_smile: