Chia Seed: Infoods Ltd

June 2013: Application from Infoods, for an opinion on the equivalence of chia seeds grown in Argentina, compared with the Chia Company's seeds which are grown in Australia. Authorised June 2013.

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

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

In all cases to date, the Commission has required that the applicant first obtain an opinion on substantial equivalence from a Member State. Infoods Ltd requested such an opinion from the UK Competent Authority on the equivalence of its chia seed to the authorised chia seed from The Chia Company . The ACNFP have considered this application and have formulated a positive draft opinion. Any comments on this draft opinion should be sent to ACNFP Secretariat by 17 June 2013 and will be passed to the Committee when it begins its assessment of this novel food ingredient.

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