Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Sacha Inchi

By Paige Brady, October 21, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
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!

 

30 Comments

Comments

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 ;-)
10/21/2008 8:11:59 PM CDT
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.
10/21/2008 10:42:21 PM CDT
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!
10/29/2008 5:54:01 AM CDT
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.
01/16/2009 6:13:19 AM CST
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!
02/08/2009 3:26:05 PM CST
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.
03/09/2009 7:05:10 PM CDT
Ian M says ...
Does the Sacha Inchi seed need to be roasted?
11/12/2009 10:22:04 PM CST
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.
02/27/2010 9:43:50 PM CST
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.
12/29/2010 1:21:59 AM CST
Hemal de Silva says ...
Are you able to send me 100 gms of the seed for planting in Sri Lanka?. With best wishes
02/21/2011 9:46:40 AM CST
brother sage says ...
We carry Sacha Inchi Virgin Oil!!
05/14/2011 7:55:05 AM CDT
Leigh says ...
Do you carry the powder? I am currently trying to find this in powder form. Thanks!
06/15/2011 8:24:48 AM CDT
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?
07/11/2011 10:01:53 PM CDT
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
05/14/2012 2:54:29 PM CDT
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
07/18/2012 11:22:35 PM CDT
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?
07/23/2012 3:32:11 PM CDT
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.
10/16/2012 5:23:13 PM CDT
george mallys says ...
What are the epa dha amounts in in the seeds and how does it compare with the oil
12/29/2012 12:20:36 PM CST
victor says ...
I want know where I can buy roasted Sachs inchi
02/11/2013 11:45:30 PM CST
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!
02/13/2013 12:01:49 PM CST
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.
03/06/2013 8:52:20 PM CST
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.
03/20/2013 9:39:42 AM CDT
Giank says ...
All the products of Sacha inchi have the same price? I would like to have it!
05/06/2013 2:38:20 PM CDT
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!
05/07/2013 4:16:52 PM CDT
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.
07/19/2013 4:04:33 PM CDT

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