UK Approval Sought for Chia Seed as Novel Food

The UK Food Standards Agency has received an application to approve whole and ground Chia seed (a summer annual herbaceous plant belonging to the mint family) as a new or novel food.

The application was submitted by R Craig & Sons [M] Ltd seeking to market whole seed and ground whole seed, a source of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid for the purpose of adding whole seed to bread.

Chia's historical use is largely in South America, (it requires sub-tropical conditions),as a major food crop of the Aztecs in areas from west Central Mexico to Northern Guatemala. The seeds were roasted and ground to form a meal called 'pinole', then mixed with water to form a porridge or made into cakes.

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