Four lines of chufa (Cyperus esculentus) grown in 1998 and 1999 in the Cukurova region of Turkey were analysed for their physical properties, proximate chemical composition and fatty acid contents. The chufa lines contained on average (g kg(-1)) 932.8 dry matter, 245.0 crude lipid, 256.8 starch, 14.3 ash, 50.5 protein, 89.1 crude fibre, 17.1 reducing sugar, 154.3 total sugar and 130.4 sucrose. Hunter L, alpha(+) and b(+) colour values of ground chufa samples were in the ranges 55.93-60.59, 3.71-5.09 and 15.60-16.85 respectively. Individual chufa tubers weighed between 0.224 and 0.283 g. The fatty acid composition of chufa oil included (g kg(-1)) 689.2-732.9 oleic acid, 125.5-141.2 palmitic acid and 99.6-154.6 linoleic acid, which is comparable with that of olive oil. After storage for 1 year the differences in mean values were significant (p < 0.05). (C) 2002 Society of Chemical Industry.