Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) is native to the Peruvian Amazon and is recognised in other parts of the world as a sustainable crop with viable commercial applications. In recent years, there has been growing interest in developing the sacha inchi plant as a novel source of oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids. This review presents information on the major and minor chemical components, health effects and utilization of different parts (seeds, seed shells and leaves) of this plant. In particular, the physicochemical properties and oxidative stability of sacha inchi seed oil are described. The whole sacha inchi plant has been utilized to generate nutritional, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products with the goal to maximize its economic value. The sacha inchi plant may become a valuable resource for high value-added compounds used in many diverse food and non-food products.
Keywords: Bioactive; Edible oil; Human nutrition; Omega-3; Phytochemical; Underutilised species; Unsaturated fatty acid.
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