Known as the “Inca Peanut”, “Wild Peanut”, “Mountain Peanut”, or simply, “Inca Inchi”, Sacha Inchi oil is produced from the botanical, Plukenetia volubilis, part of the family Euphorbiaceae. Plukenetia volubilis is native to Peru, and prefers to grow in altitudes between 200 to 1,500 meters in the Amazonian forest.1 As the name implies, Sacha Inchi is a legume with star-shaped fruit containing dark oval seeds. But this nut has a much higher nutritional value than other nuts in your kitchen cupboard.
Sacha Inchi has been a popular part of Amazonian diet for thousands of years due to its healthy content rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Natives used the seeds of Sacha Inchi as a flour and oil in their meals. Its extremely high content of α-linolenic acid, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, made Sacha Inchi an important ingredient to achieve overall good health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good for our bodies. According to an article originally published in BMC Genomics in 2012, “Specifically, α-linolenic acid (18C:3 cis Δ9, 12, 15, a kind of ω-3 FAs) comprises ca. 50% of the FAs content, and linoleic acid (18C:2 cis Δ9, 12, a kind of ω-6 FAs) comprises ca. 35%. Other FAs such as palmitic acid (16C:0), stearic acid (18C:0), and oleic acid (18C:1cisΔ9) are present in small proportions.”2
For comparison, traditional oil seed crops such as peanuts, soybeans, and sunflower seeds have an α-linolenic (Omega-3) content below 10% resulting in a 15 to 1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Sacha Inchi, on the other hand, has a .7 to 1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. The recommended ratio for human diets is 4 to 1 or less. It’s this higher concentration of Omega-3 that makes it is so highly sought after as a health supplement.3
Want to give Sacha Inchi oil a try?
Our Sacha Inchi oil is produced by pressing the raw seeds of the fruit using a cold-press without heat or chemicals. By using a cold-press, degradation of the oil that commonly happens in heated processes is avoided. Our process creates an extremely flavorful, high quality, and nutritious oil.
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Dah-Sol Kim & Nami Joo (2019) Nutritional composition of Sacha inchi (Plukenetia Volubilis L.) as affected by different cooking methods, International Journal of Food Properties, 22:1, 1235-1241, DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2019.1640247 ↩
Wang X, Xu R, Wang R, Liu A. Transcriptome analysis of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) seeds at two developmental stages. BMC Genomics. 2012;13:716. Published 2012 Dec 20. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-716 ↩
Robertson PhD, Ruari, “Omega-3-6-9 Fatty Acids: A Complete Overview,” Healthline.com, January 15, 2017, published at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-6-9-overview. ↩