The chia ingredient market has gotten a little more crowded with the addition of two new chia ingredients: one touts steam sterlization; the other caters to bakery foods.
BI Nutraceuticalshas begun offering steam-sterilized chia seeds to its customer base and featured brownies baked with chia seeds at its booth at the recent Supply Side West show. The company's niche is sterilization: BI's chia seeds have been sterilized using BI's Protexx HP process, which uses super-heated, dry steam to ensure the material is free of any potential pathogens.
"This is an important distinction from many other importers of chia seeds since they may or may not be offering sterilized product," said Walter Postelwait, vice president of marketing and sales.
"Our chia seeds meet all cGMP standards and are kosher and halal certified. Most of the chia seed growers and harvesters in South America and Mexico do not incorporate a sterilization process to guarantee a pathogen-free product. BI provides this critical sterilization, as well as conducts thorough finished product testing to assure our customers that our chia seed meets the strictest quality standards for foods and dietary supplements."
Earlier this year, Nuchia Foods Corp announced the launch of its Nuchia Chia Seed Flour to manufacturers of baked wellness foods. In baked applications, the ingredient offers a taste and functionality nearly identical to whole wheat; it can replace wheat, cup for cup, in recipes or be used as an ingredient to create a variety of enriched foods.
Homer L. Hartage, CEO of Nuchia, explained that Chia Seed Flour "has pleasant characteristics, a neutral taste and smell, and is a natural form that actually delivers commercially shelf stable omega-3 fatty acids and minerals."
Chia Seed Flour is ground chia seeds—and therefore offers new options for food manufacturers and bakeries. For example: two tablespoons contain 530 mg (0.53 g) of omega-3s, which amounts to 30 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 50 percent for women; as well as 63mg of calcium, 7g of fiber, and 5g of protein.
Nuchia Foods Corp offers two varieties of the flour:
- Nuchia 100% Chia Seed Flour is made from only chia. Manufacturers can use it for wheat-free baking or as a food ingredient. Compared to oatmeal, it is low fat, containing only 35 calories in comparison to oatmeal's 105 calories per serving.
- Nuchia Original Chia Seed Flour is a multi-grain flour that includes organic brown rice flour and chia flour. It is best for baking and can replace whole wheat flour cup for cup. It contains all the nutrients of the Nuchia 100% Chia Seed Flour.
A nutritional option
Chia seeds can easily be incorporated into a wide range of foods for cardio and digestive health, as well as to promote satiety. They are nutritionally dense, offering a complete vegan source of protein, as well as the highest levels of total omega-3 fatty acids by weight of any common foods. They have no gluten or cholesterol, and contain more fiber than common grains.
Chia seeds can be used in a wide array of applications: cereals, breads, soups, salad dressings and nutrition bars. They can also be mixed with liquids.