Chia seed company applies for EU approval

Chia seeds:
the seeds have more omega-3 than salmon
  (Photo:  )

Another company has approached the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to consider the approval of chia seeds for use in the European Union. 

The seeds are considered a ‘novel food’, meaning that there has not been a significant history of consumption in the EU before 1997.

Inversora Agropecuaria is requesting an opinion from the FSA regarding the ‘equivalence’ of its chia seeds. This means the chia seeds would be approved as being a food that is equivalent to a food already on the market in the UK.

Approval of seeds from The Chia Company was made earlier this year. The applicant will claim its product is the equivalent of that from The Chia Company, and will be used in the same products such as bread, breakfast, fruit and seed packs.

Views are wanted on the draft opinion on the chia seeds by 17 October 2014.

Chia is a summer annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Labiatae family.

Although chia is grown commercially in several Latin American countries and Australia, the seeds have not been consumed to a significant degree in Europe.

It is used as a health product, and has more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, as well as antioxidants, minerals, a complete source of protein and more fibre than flax seed.

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