Characterization and Preservation of the Bioactive Compounds of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis and P. huayllabambana) Oils

Nancy Chasquibol Silva, Rafael Alarcón Rivera, Raquel B. Gómez-Coca, Wenceslao Moreda, M. Carmen Pérez-Camino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the functional properties of sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis and P. huayllabambana) oils and reveals the potential of these two widespread taxa. Their balanced composition in ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids and unique taste make them highly valued. Their healthy properties are summarized in the literature, along with the characterization of the oil in terms of fatty acids, triacylglycerol molecular species, sterols, tocopherols, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and alcohol compositions. The data presented correspond to well-controlled genuine oils and commercial samples from the market. The studies on the composition of the commercialized sacha inchi oils reveal that many are not genuine. Their high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, Ln+L (>75%) makes sacha inchi oils especially susceptible to oxidation and the development of rancid odors in a relatively short period of time. The oxidative alteration of these oils endangers the quality and nutritional content of the foods which contain them. Techniques such as seed roasting or oil microencapsulation have emerged as natural alternatives to protect and increase the stability of these special oils. Therefore, it is now possible to safely use them in food preparations, maintaining their bioactive components, thus making them an important ingredient in the development of new functional foods and healthy designer dishes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNative Crops in Latin America Biochemical, Processing, and Nutraceutical Aspects
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781000541502
ISBN (Print)9780367531409
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameNative Crops in Latin America

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