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Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science

Print version ISSN 0864-0408On-line version ISSN 2079-3480

Cuban J. Agric. Sci. vol.54 no.1 Mayabeque Jan.-Mar. 2020  Epub Mar 01, 2020



Technical note on physical-chemical composition of Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) cake

J.L. Alcívar1  * 

Madeleidy Martínez Pérez2 

P. Lezcano2 

Idania Scull2 

A. Valverde1 

1Universidad Estatal del Sur de Manabí, Jipijapa, Manabí, Ecuador.

2Instituto de Ciencia Animal, Apartado Postal 24, San José de las Lajas, Mayabeque, Cuba.


To chemically and physically characterize the Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) cake, samples were randomly collected, from the collection center of San Vicente canton, Manabí, Ecuador. The bromatological characterization was performed and the content of the fibrous fractions was determined. The physical properties packing volume, solubility and water adsorption capacity were analyzed. The content of anti-nutritional factors was qualitatively determined. The results showed high dry matter (89.24 %) and crude protein content (41.49 %). The fibrous fractionation values were low and the physical properties showed low solubility (7.96 %), high bulkiness (3.92 mL/g) and low water adsorption capacity (2.16 g/g). The results allow concluding that the Plukenetia volubilis (Sacha inchi) cake has adequate protein and fiber content, as well as physical properties and the presence of acceptable ANFs, which allows it to be included in animal feeding.

Key words: protein cake; bromatological characterization; physical properties; anti-nutritional factors

The Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis), also known as peanut sacha or Inca peanut, is a wild oilseed plant, distributed from Central America to South America. It has a high protein value and high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is why it is considered a promising plant for human and animal feeding (Ruiz et al. 2013, Vásquez et al. 2017).

In recent years, it has been introduced in Ecuador to obtain edible oil, from which the Sacha inchi cake is generated, as a byproduct. This plant is an important source of protein. However, although several studies have been conducted in Peru and Colombia, related to its bromatological composition (Benítez et al. 2018), it is little known about the physical properties of its fibrous fraction and its composition in anti-nutritional factors. The objective of this study was to characterize, physically and chemically, the Sacha inchi cake, from Manabí, Ecuador.

The seed was collected from the plantations near to San Vicente and taken to the Triomega plant, located in San Vicente canton, Manabí province, Ecuador. It was partially shelled and cleaned by ventilation and shaking to remove impurities. The oil was extracted with the help of an extractor cylinder press, at a temperature of 75 °C. Subsequently, a re-extraction was performed and the temperature rose to 102 °C. This procedure guarantees 9% oil extraction.

The resulting cake was allowed to cool and stored in nylon bags, separated from the soil by pallets, in order to avoid moisture. The cake, from the same lot, was presented in pellets, with a diameter lower than 3 cm, and stored for 22 days.

For the chemical physical characterization, five samples of the cake were collected in a homogeneous and random way in the collection center of Sacha inchi. For this, the four points and the center procedure was followed. After they were collected, they were sent to the laboratory of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP), where analyzes were performed. Each one was performed in triplicate. The determination of the contents of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fiber (CF), ether extract (EE), gross energy (GE) and total ashes was performed using the methodology described by the AOAC (2006).

The fractionation, according to Goering and Van Soest (1970), was used to extract neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), lignin and hemicellulose.

Physical properties were determined according to the techniques compiled by Savón et al. (1999). For the determination of the packing volume and solubility, the samples were passed through a sieve of 0.8 mm and taken to an oven at 105 °C overnight.

Determination of packing volume. One gram of sample was placed in a graduated centrifuge tube. Then, it was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 20 min. Finally, the volume occupied by the sample after centrifugation was measured.

Determination of solubility. 60 mL of distilled water was added to two grams of the dried sample and were kept resting for an hour. Subsequently, they were filtered and dried in an oven at 60 °C for 12 h. The difference between the dry sample weight, at the beginning and at the end of the analysis, represented the percentage of the fraction that was solubilized in the water.

The water adsorption capacity (WAC) was determined by the gravimetric method by the following formula:

WAC (g/g) =(wet sample weight - dry sample weight)dry sample weight

The content of anti-nutritional factors was qualitatively determined according to Miranda and Cuellar (2000) methodology. The presence of tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, triterpenes, anthocyanidins, coumarins, quinones, α amino groups and mucilages was checked.

The experimental data were processed in the statistical program InfoStat (Di Rienzo et al. 2012). The statisticians, mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum coefficient of variation were determined.

The physical and chemical composition of Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) is shown in table 1. The results are in the range reported by Benítez et al. (2018).

Table 1 Physical and chemical characterization of Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) cake.  

DM 89.24 0.40 0.45 88.63 89.68
EE 9.05 1.06 11.77 7.94 10.68
Ash 4.89 0.21 4.29 4.56 5.08
CP 41.49 0.35 0.84 40.90 41.80
NFE 6.46 1.46 21.61 4.97 8.47
CF 7.63 1.77 23.15 5.83 10.27
NDF 16.64 1.54 9.24 15.32 18.41
ADF 12.70 1.96 15.43 9.95 15.03
Lignin 1.25 0.20 15.90 1.03 1.50
Hemicellulose 3.94 0.92 23.39 3.01 5.37
Solubility (%) 7.96 0.94 11.85 6.99 9.18
Volume (mL/g) 3.92 0.20 22.59 3.72 4.22
Water adsorption capacity (g/g) 2.16 0.49 5.13 1.30 2.50

The content of ether extract or fat was higher than that found by Ruiz et al. (2013) (7.8 %). These authors also reported protein and crude fiber values of 59.0 % and 4.5 %, respectively. The variations between the results may be due to the extraction methods used, according to reports by Benítez et al. (2018). In this study, hot pressing was applied. However, the mentioned authors worked with solvent extraction and cold pressing. Nevertheless, the obtained values are considered adequate, which makes the Sacha inchi cake a potential supply for the diets of monogastric animals.

With respect to fibrous fractionation, the values are low when compared with grains of an oilseed plant such as royal palm nuts (Average NDF: 57.7 %) (Arias et al. 2016). In the consulted literature, the available information about Sacha inchi cake is scarce, regarding the study of these fractions. Therefore, its study is very useful to propose it as a source of unconventional food.

The physical properties showed poor solubility, is bulky and has low water adsorption capacity. In isolated protein from Sacha inchi cake, Alvarado (2014) reported similar values to those found in this research. This may be due to the ratio of the different chemical compounds in the cake. As showed in table 1, lignin values were low. Perhaps, among the hemicelluloses, insoluble components predominate, which are part of the non-soluble fraction of the fiber, and are also responsible for regulating the function of the gastrointestinal tract of monogastric animals.

In the Sacha inchi cake was found very abundant presence of alkaloids, saponins and α amino group. To a lesser extent, tannins, flavonoids and triterpenes were observed (table 2). Ruiz et al. (2013) reported low levels of tannins and saponins in the oilseed, with respect to those of the soy cake. On the other hand, Wang et al. (2018) found the same performance of total polyphenols, when compared with Brazilian nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts and pistachios.

Table 2 Qualitative analysis of anti-nutritional factors present in the Sacha inchi cake. 

Indicators Results
Tannins +
Alkaloids +++
Flavonoids +
Saponins +++
Triterpenes +
Anthocyanidins -
Coumarinas -
Quinones -
α amino groups +++
Mucilage -

(-) absent, (+) present, (++) abundant, (+++) very abundant.

The results allow concluding that Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) cake has adequate protein and fiber content, as well as physical properties and acceptable anti-nutritional factors, which makes possible its use in animal feeding.


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Received: January 26, 2019; Accepted: July 19, 2019

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