Chia Seeds (Terrafertil)

Last updated:
2 October 2015
March 2016: Application from Terrafertil for an opinion on equivalence of chia seeds compared with chia seeds marketed by the Chia Company. Under evaluation

Chia (Salivia hispanica L) is a summer annual herbaceous plant belonging to the mint family. Chia is grown commercially in several Latin American countries and Australia, the seeds have not been consumed to a significant degree in Europe and therefore are considered novel.

The applicants chia seeds will be used in the same products as those for which approval has been granted for The Chia Company's seeds (bread products, breakfast cereal, fruit, nut and seed mixes and bread and 100% packaged chia seeds).

Regulation (EC) 258/97 makes provision for novel foods or ingredients that are substantially equivalent to an existing product to be placed on the market once the applicant has informed the European Commission. In all cases to date, the Commission has required that the applicant first obtains an opinion on substantial equivalence from a Member State. Terrafertil has requested such an opinion from the UK Competent Authority on the equivalence of its chia seeds to the authorised chia seeds marketed by The Chia Company.

Any comments on this opinion should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at acnfp@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk  by 12 March 2016. The comments will be passed to the Committee before it finalises its assessment of this novel food ingredient.

All views/comments received by the FSA will be made available for public examination as part of the Committees consideration of the application. If you would prefer your comments not to be made publically available, please indicate this in your response.