Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii), Traditional Andean Crops as New Functional Foods on the European Market

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K. Valentovaa, J. Frcekb, and J. Ulrichovaa

aInstitute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Palacky University, Olomouc, bPotato Research Institute, Havlickuv Brod


Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) and maca (Lepidium meyenii) are traditional crops of the original population of Peru, which are also used in traditional medicine. However, these plants are little known in Europe and Northern America, although they can be cultivated in the climatic conditions of these regions. This article is a review of their botanical aspects, their growing in the Czech Republic, composition and structure of main constituents, and biological activity. These plants are already on European market as prospective functional foods and nutraceuticals for use in certain risk groups of population.


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