Friday, September 22, 2006

Sacha Inchi: Oil from the Amazon Takes Gold in Paris

Photo: Institute of Peruvian Amazon Research,
Instituto de Investigación de la Amazoní­a Peruana.

I must be craving to be somewhere very far away. Perhaps I need a vacation? For now, here's a final installment related to the Peruvian Amazon, about a unique plant that produces a flavorful and very healthy oil.

Sacha inchi
, an Amazonian plant, has been discovered to be the richest vegetable source of the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 that protect the heart and lower cholesterol.

The plant is depicted on pottery found buried in Inca and pre-Inca tombs, so people in the region must have known about sacha inchi for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Sacha inchi contains 48% Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (olive or soy oil only contain 8%). Also, because of its makeup, it is the most easily digestible vegetable oil.

The oil isn't only incredibly healthy, it must also taste good since it just won a Gold Medal. When it will show up at my local supermarket?

Bottled under the the Inca Inchi label, this oil received a Gold Medal at the World Edible Oil Fair, part of the Salón World Ethnic & Specialty Food Show, held this past June in Paris.

Sacha inchi produces a fruit that, to me, looks like a pod. After the pods are dried, the seeds are extracted and pressed to make the oil.

I like this close up of sacha inchi.

This is the pod which is harvested from the plant.

Once the pod is dried, the hard inner body is revealed. Inside are the
sacha inchi seeds.

The seeds are pressed to make the oil.

Map: Institute of Peruvian Amazon Research,
Instituto de Investigación de la Amazoní­a Peruana.

Almost two-thirds of Peru consists of tropical lowlands (green in the map above), the western edge of the immense Amazon basin, yet barely 12% of the population live there. Sacha inchi is one of the crops the Peruvian government's Pro Amazonía program is trying to develop in the region. Inca Ichi oil is produced by Agroindustrias Amazónicas.

Sources: Radio Programas del Perú and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos from Pro Amazonía.

Click here for the Peru Food main page.

TAGS: Peru, Peruvian, food, cooking, cuisine, cocina, comida, gastronomía, peruana


laila radice said...

muy bueno Alejandro, vivo en Brasil pero un tio mio de vive en Peru trajo el Sacha Inchi y me encantó. todavia no los encontramaos por acá.. besitos

Unknown said...

Sacha Inchi oil is a "new" old product. Scientific studies being carried out, show tremendous benefitial effects for human and animal health. Soon, this research will be published for everybody benefit. Wonder the reaction of the pharmaceutical industry regarding the capability of Sacha Inchi oil to improve the blood cholesterol profile, comparing for instance with Lipitor.
Ricardo Valdivia, Ph.D.

Jane Blewitt said...

Its great to see such a terrific product being available outside Peru with such tremendous health benefits. Why not visit my website to buy Sacha Inchi Oils and snacks.

Anonymous said...

Where can I buy the inca inchi oil in retail or at least small wholesale? It's great but not available?

Anonymous said...

If you go to you can buy Sacha Inchi in the US.

Anonymous said...

Hello!!! I'm a sales executive who represents my families company in the united states (mia, fl). I'd be more than happy to have our product available to you in the united states. I can be reached at or call me at 305-303-3279

Marco said...

The sacha inchi comes from the healthiest seed that our mother nature has to offer. come visit our website at or contact me at for more information on our sacha inchi oil.

Anonymous said...

I've tried a lot of different companies' Sacha Inchi oil. But, my favorite is The Sacha Inchi Company's brand. They are at

Anonymous said...

I found that has Inca inchi oil and has the best price also, they offer many other products from Peru, the Pisco sour mix 100% Natural is like being at the Rana verde in La Punta.

Townstate said...

You can buy Sacha Inchi oil in Canada now too. Here's a website
This nice import is bottled in dark bottles to keep fresh. They also have some great recipes posted online.

Anonymous said...

I bought a bottle of Sacha Inchi oil online. It is delicious! My family loves it.
In Canada it is sold by Aysana Foods
The bottle is super fancy, very nice for a gift.

::Alejandro:: said...

@ Dr. Valdivia: Thank you for the further information about sacha inchi.

To everybody else: Thanks for the tips for places where to purchase sacha inchi oil.