Nutrition Composition of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia Volubilis L.)

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue IX, September 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Nutrition Composition of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia Volubilis L.)

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Gomathy Sethuraman1, Nur Marahaini Mohd Nizar2, Fatin Nadia Muhamad3, Peter J. Gregory4, Ebrahim Jahanshiri5, Sayed Azam-Ali6
1,2,3,4,5,6Crops For the Future Research Centre (CFFRC), Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia
4School of Agriculture, Policy & Development, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading, RG6 6AR, UK

Abstract – We investigated the macronutrient, selected mineral and fatty acid composition of Sacha inchi (SI) (Plukenetia volubilis L.) seeds harvested from the grounds of Crops for the Future, Malaysia. Macronutrient analysis was carried out on both fresh and roasted (160°C for 6 mins) SI seeds. Both fresh and roasted seeds were rich in crude fat (56.2%, 49.8%) and crude protein (23.8%, 25.0%) respectively. Fatty acid and some selected minerals analyses were carried out for the roasted SI seeds. Fatty acid analysis showed that the 18.6% of saturated fat was mainly made up of palmitic (4.64%) and stearic (12.9%) acids. The polyunsaturated fat amounted to 81.3% and was contributed mainly by linolenic (35.9%) and linoleic (44.8%) acids. The main minerals found were potassium (5179 mg/kg), phosphorus (3868 mg/kg), magnesium (3439 mg/kg) and calcium (1142 mg/kg). Comparison with other crops highlights SI’s potential as a plant source of omega -3 and omega-6 fatty acids, its macronutrient and mineral contents.

Key words: Sacha inchi, Nutritional profile, Underutilised crop, Proximate composition, Fatty acids, Mineral, Plukenetia volubilis


There are approximately 30,000 known plant species documented for human use of which 7000 plant species have been identified as food sources with less than 20 species providing most of the world’s food and only three crops (rice, wheat and maize) accounting for ca. 60% of the calories consumed [1]. A diverse diet of plants and plant products such as fruits, vegetables and nuts are regarded as beneficial to human health [2]. Many currently underutilised crops or orphan crops have the potential to improve the nutritional quality of diets [3],[4]. These underutilised crops can also provide valuable traits for the purpose of improving agricultural diversity, climate change mitigation, land degradation and reducing external inputs that contribute to the carbon footprint of agriculture [1],[4],[5].