Sacha Inchi protein powder

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Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby Sid Delicious » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:19 am

I was doing a search for vegan protein powders the other night and came across a local supplier of Sacha Inchi powder, a product I had previously never heard of. The promo blurb for it came across as kinda happy-clappy stuff (organically grown and hand harvested by indigenous tribes in Amazonian Peru) which is all good but could also be a reason (justification?) for it being really expensive (about 30% more than rice protein powder, but similar in price to pea protein). I bought some out of curiosity. It's quite good. Basically it's a ground up kind of nut that has been cold-pressed to extract most of the oil. What is left is a very fine powder that is 63% protein, 13.5% carbs and 6% fat (good Omega 3:6 ratio). I add three rounded tablespoons to a smoothie (usually a banana with about 200ml soya milk, or just the soya milk - which makes it a little bit gritty). A bit of drinking chocolate compliments the nutty taste.
Not sure if I'll buy it very often, but it is a quick and easy way to vary protein intake. I can get locally grown hemp that is only a fraction of the cost, so I'll probably stick mostly with that.
Anyone else use sacha inchi? I'm going to try it in baking as it would be a good way of boosting the protein content of cookies and muesli bars without adding much bulk to them.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby Fallen_Horse » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:47 pm

Sid Delicious wrote:....What is left is a very fine powder that is 63% protein, 13.5% carbs and 6% fat (good Omega 3:6 ratio)....


Numbers don't add to 100?

Where did you buy it? Sounds like a legit purchase!
Lovin' it!
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby Sid Delicious » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:28 pm

No they don't add up to 100 cos I didn't list the full nutritional breakdown, as I couldn't be bothered transcribing it all from the packet. I bought it online from a company based in New Zealand (where I live) but presume that there would be companies in other countries that distribute it. Do a net search and see what you can find.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby jpowell » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:46 am

Sounds very interesting. Would be great to see what the Lysine content is. Pea protein is far superior to rice protein in this regard (and probably just far superior full stop), but having more variety of useful products to work with would be a very good thing. I am in Australia and currently use mainly Vital Protein (pea protein) and sometimes NitroFusion/PlantFusion (as far as I can make out, they are the same thing, produced by the same company, similar taste/ingredients). Nitrofusion also uses pea protein but a couple of other vegetable sources as well and some EAAs mixed in. It may be a more rounded protein overall than Vital and has 6% Lysine content (respectable, comparable to human milk), whereas VitalProtein (more a pure legume product) has 7.2% Lysine/Protein (almost as much as cow's milk and comparable to muscle tissue) and less of some other aminos. I like to think that overall the higher Lysine content balances what may be otherwise, at least for an athlete, a low Lysine diet (ANY vegan diet is fairly low in Lysine). In summary, I currently use Nitrofusion post exercise (especially after strength training) but this is despite some of the offensive tasting "natural" additives like fructose and stevia, not because of them.

When you say "good n6:n3 ratio", this also sounds like a great feature but what is a good ratio? Some people consider 10:1 a good ratio, or even 17:1 if they happen to be selling Omega3 soymilk. From the various things I've read (including some based on genuine medical science), I tend to think somewhere around 3:1 is more like it for most purposes.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby vegimator » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:55 pm

The omega 3 ratio is similar to chia seeds. About 3:1 o3 to o6.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby Sid Delicious » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:45 am

Ok, here's a further nutritional breakdown from the packet....

Essential Amino Acids/100g Protein

Histadine 2.6g, Isoleucine 5g, Leucine 6.4g, Lysine 4.3g, Methionine 1.2g, Cystine 2.5g, Phenylalinine 2.4g, Tyrosine 5.5g, Threonine 4.3g, Tryptophane 2.9g, Valine 4g

Non-Essential Amino Acids/100g Protein

Alanine 3.6g, Arginine 5.5g, Aspartic acid 11.1g, Glutamic acid 13.3g, Glycine 11.8g, Proline 4.8g, Serine 6.4g


Now, can anyone make sense of all that?
It also has 11.8mg of iron and 493.18mg of calcium per 100g
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby jpowell » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:44 am

Lysine looks disappointingly low (not tragically so, maybe almost as low as rice or oats but not nearly as bad as wheat or many veges). Glutamic acid also looks slightly lower than I would hope but probably well within the range of good/normal. These two are important for recovery if you do a lot of exercise or you do strength training. Lysine is also fairly generally important.

Don't quote me on the following at all (cross check).. but I *think* (working from memory)...
Leucine and Isoleucine look about right. They are important for muscle growth.
Methionine possibly looks very slightly on the low side which might affect the "biological value" score but is not necessarily a significant concern
Aspartic seems maybe high?
Glycine seems high and is often an additive/sweetener in products (but not necessarily a bad thing)? Does it taste sweet? Does it have other crap like stevia, aspartame, sugar alcohols or fructose in there?

By a very quick mental count there were only 18 amino acids listed and the numbers added up to about 95 or 96, in which case this data is maybe sort of credible but incomplete.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby jpowell » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:58 am

The product still looks interesting if that is right about the fatty acid profile, however not my pick for a primary protein supplement. (That would probably go to pea protein isolate, depending on your use case, and my primary pick for a cheap, good food source of protein would be split peas or lentils, with maybe a bit from spirulina, oats, white rice (if you are on a high carb or otherwise high energy/high caloric diet), wheat germ (NOT whole wheat), chickpeas, other beans and soya for variety, and a bit from whatever other hopefully fairly wide range of foods you eat).

As for the other minerals, they are great, but hardly likely to be in the concentration or form that you could rely on to meet your nutritional needs. Consider eating some green veges (a wide range of dark green vegs preferably - brassicas are good, but see if you can eat some that AREN'T brassicas too!), spirulina and seaweed for minerals.... and if you're paranoid about calcium or can't afford huge quantities of greens, try a calcium supplement (one without D3 if you want one that's actually vegan) and/or calcium fortified soy milk.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby Sid Delicious » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:43 am

Aspartic seems maybe high?
Glycine seems high and is often an additive/sweetener in products (but not necessarily a bad thing)? Does it taste sweet? Does it have other crap like stevia, aspartame, sugar alcohols or fructose in there?


Is there a problem with aspartic being high at all?

The powder is simply the sacha inchi nut that has been cold pressed to remove most of the oil (sold seperately) and is then ground to a very fine powder, with no additives. It's not overly sweet, but has a very slight sweetness like some nuts do; there is no stevia etc in it.

It works well in smoothies, so is a good way to add protein without the bulk. 3 tablespoons of it with 200ml soya milk is about 25g protein.
It's cheaper than buying pea protein in this country. I'm not too concerned about a high-protein diet as I'm not into bulking up. I aim to get a minimum of .6g protein per 1kg body weight, but usually get up to 1g protein per 1kg bodyweight on an average day. I often have a smoothie after heavy exercise (prolonged mtb biking or a hard day at work) and use several tablespoons of one or a mix of hemp protein, ground linseed, sacha inchi, rice or pea protein blended with soya milk, a banana and maybe also half an avocado. Maybe low-ish in lysine but I find they work well as a recovery drink.
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Re: Sacha Inchi protein powder

Postby jpowell » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:33 am

Sid Delicious wrote: Is there a problem with aspartic being high at all?


Not that I know of... I was more looking for what is high if some others are low, as a reality check on my own observations.. percentages always add to 100, you know. Plants tend to produce what lysine they contain by converting aspartic acid, and animals such as humans (with higher lysine makeup), tend to rely on plants directly or indirectly for lysine. (If you care, skim read the wikipedia article on lysine for some background).

Sounds great for your needs, as far as I can see from what you've described (I am not a dietitian). Some of my thoughts were also related to how well it might or might not also help with some of my needs than critical requirements for it to be safe to consume it.
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