Native to Peru and more generally to the tropics of South America, Plukenetia volubilis belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. This liana, which can reach a height of 6 meters, is a perennial plant.
The story of the inca-peanut
The cultivation of sacha inchi began during the pre-Inca period in the Secoyas, Boras and Amueshas tribes of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, some 3000 to 5000 years ago. There are ceramics found showing the plant that revealed its use at that time.
The culture of the Inca-peanut continued into the time of the Incas as evidenced by the writings of the Portuguese writer Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616) who describes it as a peanut, named ínchic by the Incas, whose taste similar to almond and which, if eaten raw, hurts the head but is delicious and healthy if roasted. He also mentions the use of his oil to treat many diseases.
It was first described by the Swedish naturalist Carl von Linne in his publication Species Plantarum in 1753 and named it Plukenetia volubilis.
Until 1976, the consumption of the Inca nut was reduced to the diet of the indigenous tribes of Peru. It was then that the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture began to take an interest in the resources of the Amazon rainforest. Studies were carried out between 1976 and 1980 by Dr Antunez de Mayolo which showed the formidable nutritional potential of this nut.
Although many scientists around the world are interested in it, it was not until the 2000s for Switzerland to import it and 2013 for authorization on the European market to be granted to this new food.
The making of our Sacha Inchi
Sacha groundnut cultivation on the Bolaven plateau. The Bolaven plateau is located east of the city Pakse located in the province of Sekong in Laos. This region offers Plukenetia volubilis L. a warm climate with regular rains and the soil favoring good drainage. This land, nestled between the mountains and the river, provides volcanic soil and provides a particularly rich supply of nutrients to the plants.
Sacha Inchi cold-pressed extra virgin oil.
After harvesting, the inca inchi nuts are shelled, to remove each seed from its capsule, then carefully sorted. It will take 3 kg of seeds to obtain a liter of oil. They do not undergo any irradiation which would alter its nutritional properties.
The virgin sacha inchi oil is then obtained by first cold pressing the carefully selected raw seeds. It then undergoes filtering before being packaged without any preservatives or additives denaturing it. The laboratory in which the oil is produced does not work with any products containing gluten or peanuts. The sacha inchi presents no allergens, and its oil is also devoid of them.
An oil of excellent nutritional quality (Omega-3, 6 and 9)
The seeds of Sacha Inchi offer a quantity of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs or PUFAs) of the most important among the oil seeds:
45% α – linolenic acid (Ω 3);
39% linoleic acid (Ω 6);
9% oleic acid (Ω 9).
This precious oil therefore contains a total of 90% Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. It is particularly interesting because it provides both omega 3 and omega 6 whose balance plays an essential role for our health and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
It is also very rich in antioxidants vitamin A and Tocopherol vitamin E. As an indication, sacha inchi oil has a tocopherol content of:
α-tocopherol 30-35 mg / kg;
d-tocopherol 1160-1180 mg / kg;
γ-tocopherol 1675-1690 mg / kg.
Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, contained in the oil, help control and reduce cholesterol, are involved in the formation of tissues and cell membranes. These acids are also involved in other important functions indirectly. It is a highly digestible oil.
All these characteristics make the Inca peanut a very concentrated plant source of nutrients and Essential Fatty Acids useful in particular to fight against malnutrition.
A perfect oil for cosmetics
It will also be used in anti-aging care where, thanks to its antioxidants and vitamin E, will help fight against free radical damage.
Finally, sacha inchi oil is a dry oil which, after applied to the skin, will be immediately absorbed. It is therefore very practical and effective for cosmetic use!
Current scientific studies would indicate Sacha Inchi as being the best oilseed by its composition and high nutritional quality.