Location: Natural Products Utilization ResearchTitle: Oligofructans content and yield of yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) cultivated in Mississippi) Author
Submitted to: Scientia Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2012
Publication Date: 10/16/2012
Citation: Sumiyanto, J., Dayan, F.E., Cerdeira, A., Wang, Y., Khan, I.A., Moraes, R.M. 2012. Oligofructans content and yield of yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) cultivated in Mississippi. Scientia Horticulturae. 148:83-88. Interpretive Summary: Yacon is a plant native to South America that produces several natural products with potential health benefits. Several of its caffeic acid derivatives have antioxidative properties and lowering blood sugar activity, and the natural sugars produced by its roots are a great source of dietary fibers with low caloric values. Therefore, efforts to establish yacon as a cash crop in Mississippi along with the content of these natural products over a growing season are reported.
Technical Abstract: Smallanthus sonchifolius (Poepp. & Endl.) H. Robinson (Asteraceae), also known as yacon, is an herbaceous tropical species native to the high mountains of Andes. It has been introduced to several countries, including Japan and Brazil. We are attempting to acclimatize yacon to Mississippi as a potential functional food crop because of the health benefit of some of its constituents. Leaves of yacon contain chlorogenic (caffeoylquinic) acid and other caffeic acid derivatives with antioxidative properties and lowering blood sugar activity. The roots are rich in oligofructans. The food industry’s interest in oligofructans has increased considerably because of their dietary fibers and low caloric attributes. Yacon was successfully acclimatized to North Mississippi and the foliage harvested in mid-November had the highest content of chlorogenic and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acids while tuberous roots and rhizophores produced the highest yield of fructans. Frost damages to the leaves reduced the quality of the tuberous roots by hydrolyzing the fructans.