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Sacha Inchi

It all started with a brief conversation at the Fancy Food Show in New York City in July of 2007.  The owner of a company was telling me about an idea for a new product. “What’s it called?” I asked inquisitively. “Sacha Inchi," he said. “Uh…I’ve never heard of it.” I replied.  I asked him what it was. “It’s the next cool thing.” he predicted. I think he might be right.  The "he" I am speaking of is Laurent Coulloumme-Labarthe.  He along with his partner, Thierry Ollivier, are the proprietors of a unique product development company called Brandstorm. You may know them as the guys who brought goji berries and Himalanian pink salt to U.S. grocery retailers several years ago.  They have a knack for finding interesting and unique food products from around the world, so I was immediately interested in this new food find. Turns out that Sacha Inchi is a plant that grows in the highlands of Peru.  Thierry had discovered it on a product exploration trip to South America.  It produces a seed that is really like a nut if you roast it.  One of the best attributes of the nut-like seeds is that they contain huge amounts of three varieties of omega fatty acids: 3, 6 and 9.  Laurent said they were tasty when roasted and salted.  Sounded like a healthy snack to me.  I asked Laurent when he would have this product ready to show me.  He said it could be a year or more as they needed to fine tune the operation.  Great.  Get me interested in the product, and then make me wait.  I’m not known for being very patient. Well, the wait paid off when we recently launched the Sacha Inchi nuts under the TerrAmazon brand name, available exclusively at Whole Foods Market.  There are three varieties: plain, tamari and sweet, which is enrobed with a sugar coating.  Those are my favorite.  Though the taste does resemble a nut, it has some different textural and flavor qualities all its own.  Add in those omegas and its truly a healthy snack.  Just so the Sacha Inchi nuts don’t feel lonely, Laurent and Theirry also procured some other South American products to create an entire family under the TerrAmazon name. Cacao is widely grown in South America, so there are a few products that are based on that ingredient, including powder and nibs with dried fruits like pineapple, raisins and coconut.   There are other unique products as well.  More on those in my next blog, so…stay tuned!

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60 comments

Comments

Nebu Ochoa says …

Sounds like a good product. Didn't know people still go on world tours for "product searching." I'm pretty sure some truly break-through medicine remains to be hidden in some remote villages somewhere.

Starseed says …

I have to agree with RawSoldier on this one. Roasting breaks down the essential fatty acids causing them to lose their healthy benefits. The cold pressed oil is fantastic and has been used for quite some time in Peru and within the last few years has become popular in North America. It should catch on in the UK soon; the oil is a great natural product! Of course, I'm a little bias!

RawSoldier says …

Fat dominant foods, except maybe coconut (which is a seed), should NEVER be heated or roasted. The fats become rancid. However, the pure "cold-pressed" oil is quite pleasing ;-)

katswan says …

Well, I'm a sucker for all things new...my curiosity got the best of me and I snagged one of the Sacha Inchi - Tamari flavored bags off the shelf. My Husband and son were not crazy about the taste..but, I'm one of those people that will give anything and everything a fair chance (think Vegas buffet...). Anyway, on first bite they tasted a bit like a dry, dusty soybean pod and then it hit me...like a blast of smooth oiliness it seemed to coat my tongue and then the feasting began. After consuming more then my 1 serving I can say that I believe the tamari covers some of the "fishy", or as my husband thinks "chemically" taste, but, I kinda like 'um! I may try the sweet version next time, I did not see them on the shelf when I purchased these or my sweet tooth might have gotten the best of my decision making on that one....I believe the other posters are correct about heating the oils possibly destroying all the goodness and I certainly wouldn't consider them a superfood served this way, but as an occasional snack...toss me a bag!

curious says …

Roasting seeds/heating fats is a 'no' that anyone interested in food or nutrition shouild know. But I've had some other problems with TerrAmazon's lack of nutrition knowledge. I picked up the terramazon yakon slices, and fell in love with them. So i went to the terramazon website. There I realized that the nutrition information they had listed on the website did not match up to the nutrition information printed on the package; a calorie difference of 75 as well as other vitamin and fat content differences. Thinking maybe it was a type-o, the next time i was in wholefoods i picked up another bag of yakon slices. Still the same misprint. I also picked up the TerrAmazon Sacha Inchi: sweet. I noticed that there was a re-printed sticker nutrition label on the back. I peeled off the sticker. The original nutrition label matches the website, but the re-print doesn't match anything. I think the brand definetly needs a little bit more 'fine tuning' I will not be buying TerrAmazon products again for a while.

Blaisejazz says …

Just stopped at Whole Foods and bought the sacha inchi nuts:roasted seeds instead of cookies. They are a crunchy tasty treat and not quite as heavy as a walnut. I read that the Omega 3 in these is a different form than fish, and I was disappointed to read about the rancid fat aspect, but I think it's still better than the cookies I almost grabbed.

Ian M says …

Does the Sacha Inchi seed need to be roasted?

joyce says …

Thanks for the article! I've been in love with the peruvian products showing up.. Sacha inchi, quinoa, amaranth/kichiwa(?), maca; all filled with sustainable nutritional goodness! My new alpaca blanket has been keeping me blessedly warm this cold winter, so I am very thankful to the Incans, and the people bringing good stuff back.

Annabelle Webb says …

These delicious golden-brown <a href="http://www.eco-ola.com/" rel="nofollow">Sacha Inchi</a> seeds have the hard-to-find nutrients your body needs! Omega-3′s, Complete Protein, Vitamins A and E, all in a perfectly toasted ready-to-eat snack.

Hemal de Silva says …

Are you able to send me 100 gms of the seed for planting in Sri Lanka?. With best wishes

brother sage says …

We carry Sacha Inchi Virgin Oil!!

Leigh says …

Do you carry the powder? I am currently trying to find this in powder form. Thanks!

Jely Acosta says …

I had to leave a comment because I just attended the Fancy Food Show in DC and found Sacha Vida oil there!! The oil is made from the sacha inchi seeds and had a nutty flavor and it was surprisingly light, too bad I could not get a sample there because I really enjoyed it. Does anyone know if I can find it in WholeFoods?

David Mendosa says …

If sacha inchi seeds (not NUTS as your store called them), are so great, then why did the Boulder store on Pearl Street just tell me that you stopped carrying them? And I do think they are great. See my review article at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=686

Hemal de Silva says …

I was able to obtain Sacha inchi seed from a friend, a food engineer, who flew to Sri Lanka merely to take back Pentadesma butyracea seed for planting in Colombia. I have planted this seed in the wet and the dry zone. One month later, the plants are growing well and I hope that the creeper will flower and produce fruits and seeds. My intention is to provide and distribute the seed produced to as many people as possible and encourage them to grow it in their back yards. Any seed produced can be consumed, roasted. The sources of Omega 3 are very scarce and fish oil capsules are far too expensive for the majority of Sri Lankans. The production of sacha inchi seed I believe will be beneficial to especially the people who are in the low income bracket. hsdes59@yahoo.com

Terri Kay Watkins says …

Looking to purchase and grow Sacha inchi seed. Does anybody have a USA source? (Post #15 - Hemal de Silva - do you have any to spare?

Yvette Tucker says …

I am going to try anything to get my belly fat down. I really don't want to develop any medical issues. I am 44 eat healthy, some snacks that are not healthy, but for the most part, I eat healthy. I want to be around for another 44 years.

george mallys says …

What are the epa dha amounts in in the seeds and how does it compare with the oil

victor says …

I want know where I can buy roasted Sachs inchi

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@VICTOR - Our products vary between locations so I would suggest reaching our to your local store to see if they have this in stock!

James Marcos says …

The difference between these seeds raw or roasted: the raw seed is inedible and cannot be digested by the the human gut. If the seeds are consumed raw they produce a mild laxative effect (so if you need that...). When the oil is pressed out of the raw seeds in a cold process method it does not cause a laxative effect. The nuts when roasted are edible. Several of the purveyors of these seeds state that the roasting process at is done at a slow 112f - below the threshold of destruction of the omega oils. So remember folks - true raw sacha inch seeds are inedible and will cause a laxative effect - roasted they (are edible) contain high protein, nutrients and the oils.

Nancy Lunn says …

This nut is talked about in a cookbook called Thrive with recipes using it. Haven't gotten any yet for myself but plan to investigate soon.

Giank says …

All the products of Sacha inchi have the same price? I would like to have it!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@GIANK - The pricing of our products is determined by each region/store location. Check with your local store to see what their price points are!

Carrie says …

Sacha Inchi is referred to as a nut - is it actually a nut? - I have a family member allergic to nuts. Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CARRIE - The TerrAmazon website states that from the fruit of the plant, they extract the seeds and roast them, so technically they are seeds (http://www.terramazon.com/eng/). I would highlight suggest speaking with your healthcare professional though before trying these if allergies are involved.

margaret johnston says …

I went to Whole Foods in Oakville, Ont. and asked for Sacha inchi seeds and they had never heard of them. The guy I asked also asked several other people and they had never heard of it either. I read about them in Brendan Brazier's book "Whole Foods To Thrive" and can't find them anywhere. They are described in his book on page 120 and there is a recipe for a drink using them on pages 128 & 129. That's why I wanted them. Any idea where I might get them?

robin says …

can you look on the bag and tell me if it is processed at Amal with nuts. I have kids with food allergies so I can't any nuts at all. thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ROBIN - Since we do not make this product, I would suggest reaching out to TerrAmazon directly at http://www.terramazon.com/eng/index.html.

adeline says …

i read a lot about the goodness of SACHA INCHI , could anybody let me know where to get the raw seed , i like to plant it .

Dr Gutta Lakshmana Rao says …

I am a herbalist. I need unprocessed sacha inchi seeds to prepare medicines for my patients. Can you supply half a kg of unprocessed Sacha inchi seeds? I can arrange advance payment including courrier chargers. Many thanks Dr Lakshmana Rao, 19 Aug 2014

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DR.GUTTA - If you are attempting to order through Whole Foods, I would suggest reaching out to your local store to see if they can special order this and ship it. If not, you can reach out to TerrAmazon directly to see if they can sell in wholesale quantities.

vienna says …

I can say just this oil seed is great for health and great for income.

CARLO PODESTA says …

muy interesado....

Mr.Brang Mai says …

Thanks for your Article.

vienna says …

wonderful vegetable oil for optimal health, Sacha Inchi Oil.

ko keke says …

inchi is grow to shade-----?

liliana chang says …

When I was in Peru every body had been toking habout Sacha inchi .I Live in the USA tell me where I can get this seeds, or haw the they came.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LILIANA - Some of our stores will carry this. Check with your local store to see if they have this in stock!

osman wahid says …

Yes.I have read that this is a great super food.Will you please advise me where can I source for the seeds to plant? I would like to introduce to members of my co-operative agro-self help society.so can we share with others on benefits.Please let me know the price as well.thank you.

steve says …

Hi, we grow Sacha Inchi in Ecuador and also roast them and cover them in 70% chocolate and cacao powder. Delicious.

gershon wajntraub says …

What is the difference between Omega 3 from fish oil and Omega 3 from plants like Sacha Inchi How it works in the body once take? Is it better to ingest or rather use the patch?

Kay says …

Would you carry them not roasted?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@GERSHON - I would suggest reaching out to Sacha Inchi directly to get their thoughts on the difference.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KAY - Your local store might have an option but our exact choices will differ. Check with your local store to see what they have in stock!

John L. Cwierz, Dr. says …

I would like to try the seeds. If you could send me a small sample, so I can determine if it is at all eatable. So far, we are on the OIL. Sacha Inchi Oil. We take a spoonful twice daily. We find that in the mid morning, of course after the breakfast when we took the oil, that it comes UP. In other words, kind of regurgitation with a fish-oil taste in the background and we feel it on our breath. I have three persons who have this same behavior. Is this acceptable, is this normal? I was under the impression that, the oil being so highly digestible, wouldn't present such a response. Please you comment me about your experiences. Thank You. Dr. Cwierz.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOHN - I would suggest reaching out to the vendor directly to see if they have samples to provide.

Raka Bu says …

Is it sustainable? Fair Trade? Organic? This information is important to us consumers. Is the integrity of the traditional land owners being respected? Are they using sustainable farming practices to support growing demand? If so, let it be known. A product can be delicious, healthy and wonderful, but I won't buy it unless it makes the care of the planet and the people its highest priority.

Mia Farland says …

How do you pronounce it?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MIA - Here is a video that might help with the pronunciation! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewq8wPWhjs4

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