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June 2024

...excellent composition of essential and non-essential amino acids easily digestible for children and adults...

— What is Sacha Inchi ?

Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubillis L.), also known as Inca Peanut, Amui, or Sacha Peanut grows in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru. This plant belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family is high in oil and protein, is valued as a significant source of dietary protein by the native people. Unlike soybean, peanut, cottonseed and sunflower oils that are high in linoleic but low in linolenic acid, Sacha Inchi oil contains approximately equal proportions of the essential fatty acids. Oil and flour of Sacha Inchi seeds are often used for food and traditional medicine native of the Amazon communities. At present the plant is cultivated widely in the Region becoming a sustainable source of income to many families of the area.1,2

Sacha Inchi seeds contain the highest percentage of unsaturated fatty acids and lower levels of saturated fat of all oleaginous seeds used worldwide for the production of oils for human consumption and as protein for the production of protein flours. Their high oil content (35–60%), with elevated levels of linolenic (ω-3) and linoleic (ω-6) acids provide a great potential for applications in the food and nutraceuticals industries. Sacha Inchi seed has been called a super food because of its high content of essential fatty acids and amino acids.3

Linolenic (ω-3) and linoleic (ω-6) acids levels reach about 45% and 35% of total fatty acids, respectively. Other fatty acids such as oleic, palmitic and stearic, are also present in minor proportions. Similar to linseed, Sacha Inchi oil is a important source for the prevention of coronary heart disease and hypertensionshowing a hypocholesterolemic effect when used as supplements and functional foods. From elsewhere, the high protein content of Sacha Inchi is comparable to, and in some respects better than that of other oilseeds. Hamaker et al. (1992) determined high levels of amino acid profile of Sacha Inchi includes phenylalanine and tyrosine (79 mg/g), leucine (64 mg/g), tyrosine (55 mg/g), isoleucine (50 mg/g), lysine (43 mg/g), cysteine (25 mg/g), threonine (43 mg/g),  sulfur amino acids (methionine + cysteine), 37 mg/g, and valine (40 mg/g). Table 1 shows the amino acid profile of Sacha Inchi protein compared to other oilseed.4

Sacha Inchi protein flour (powder) is a vegetable protein of high quality with excellent composition of essential and non-essential amino acids easily digestible for children and adults in adequate quantity when compared with the patterns of amino acids recommended by the FAO / WHO.5

A recent study identified a water soluble storage protein (albumin) from Sacha Inchi seeds as the first plant protein to date that contains all the essential amino acids required by humans. This storage albumin accounted for approximately 25% (w/w) of defatted seed flour weight, representing 31% of the total seed protein. Sacha Inchi albumin is a 3S storage protein composed of two glycosylated polypeptides, with estimated molecular weights of 32800 and 34800 Da, respectively and a sugar content of 5%. The water soluble storage albumin is a basic protein and contains all of the essential amino acids in adequate quantity when compared with the patterns of recommendation of FAO / WHO for a human adults. Albumin Sacha Inchi seed is a highly digestible protein in vitro, when it is heat denaturation.


Sacha Inchi protein seed is a complete, highly digestible, and high quality non-animal protein with the amino acid requirement for adults suitable for vegetarians and vegans that can be used for protein concentrates to build muscle, beverages, yogurt, supplements, vegetarian and vegan diets, vega energizing smoothieamong others.6


Table 1. Amino Acid Profile of Sacha Inchi Protein Compared to Other Oilseed Protein.4

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 11.50.41 AM

  • a   Values for soybean, peanut, cottonseed, and sunflower were taken from Bodwell and     Hopkins (1985).
  • b   Values shown are mg/g of protein, unless otherwise noted (N X 6.25).
  • c    Recommended level for children of preschool age (2-5 years), although recently recommended for evaluation of dietary protein quality for all age groups except infants (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation 1990).
  • d    TEAA = total essential amino acids.
  • TAA = total amino acids.



1          Guillèn MD, Ruiz A, Cabo N, Chirinos R, Pascual G (2003). Characterization of Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) oil by FTIR spectroscopy and 1H NMR. Comparison with linseed oil. J Am Oil Chem Soc 80:755–762.


2          Maurer NEHatta-Sakoda B. et al. (2012). Characterization and authentication of a novel vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids, sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) oil. Food Chem. Sep 15;134(2):1173-80.


3        Sathe SKKshirsagar HHSharma GM (2012). Solubilization, fractionation, and electrophoretic characterization of Inca peanut (Plukenetia volubilis L.) proteins. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. Sep;67(3):247-55.


4          Hamaker BR, Valles C, Gilman R, Hardmeier RM, Clark D, Garcia HH, Gonzales AE, Kohlstad I, Castro M, Valdivia R, Rodriguez T, Lescano M (1992). Amino acid and fatty acid profiles of the Inca peanut (Plukenetia volubilis). Cereal Chem.  69:461–463.


5          a) JOINT FAO/WHO EXPERT CONSULTATION. 1990. Protein Quality Evaluation. Food and Agriculture Organization: Rome, Italy; b) JOINT FAO/WHO/UNU EXPERT CONSULTATION.1985. Energy and protein Requeriments. WHO Tech. Rep. Ser. No. 724. World Health Organization: Geneve, Switzerland.


6          Sathe SKHamaker BRSze-Tao KWVenkatachalam M. (2002). Isolation, purification, and biochemical characterization of a novel water soluble protein from Inca peanut (Plukenetia volubilis L.). J Agric Food Chem. Aug 14;50(17):4906-8.


The information provided here is intended to provide updated knowledge about the importance of food for a healthy life. It is not a guide to self-medication. Professional advice is recommended for any decision related to food. Nutritional needs vary from person to person depending on age, sex, health status and the total diet.


Copyright © 2015 The Green Labs LLC. No reproduction in whole or in part without written permission. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and product images exhibited on this site, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of The Green Labs LLC and Affiliates. IMPORTANT: Information presented in this website is only for educational purposes. We do not intend to offer medical advice for various pathologies and has not been approved by the FDA or any Health Ministry. For health problems always seek professional medical council. The comments or articles on this website and our marketing material have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information presented in this website does not intend to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure any disease. All images on this media are owned by The Green Labs LLC and / or the original licensed. The content of these images does not mean that all the people endorse our products or services. Supplement’s information of this material have been provided by the product manufacturer.


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