Yacon plants grow all year in frost free regions of the mountains and take approximately six to seven months to reach maturity. When the plant flowers, it grows rhizomes that are attached to large tubers weighing upwards of two pounds each. The tuberous root, known locally as Peruvian ground apple, looks and tastes very similar to sweet potatoes. When the roots are ready for harvest, they are collected and sent to be cleaned thoroughly before being peeled. All the of the skin must be removed or the taste of the end product can be altered negatively. The peeled roots are then chopped up into small pieces, juiced filtered to remove any solid matter. The juice is then put in an evaporator that removes all the water, turning the juice into a smooth, dark amber syrup.
Yacon syrup has a sweet, earthy taste, and can be used as a natural low glycemic sweetener, due to a high concentration of Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a type of sugar carbohydrate which does not metabolize in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and thus does not produce a notable increase in blood sugars level like other sugar carbohydrates do. FOS also act as a prebiotic in the body, promoting digestive health.