Chia seed: The Chia Company

February 2010. Application from The Chia Company for an opinion on the equivalence of chia seed grown in Australia, compared with the Columbus Paradigm chia seed which is grown in South America. Authorised March 2012.

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 intends to limit the use of its chia seed to bread products at a maximum level of 5%. This is consistent with the recent authorisation given to Columbus Paradigm.

In all cases to date, the Commission has required that the applicant first obtain an opinion on substantial equivalence from a Member State. The Chia Company requested such an opinion from the UK Competent Authority on the equivalence of its chia seed to the authorised chia seed from Columbus Paradigm. The ACNFP have considered this application and have formulated a positive draft opinion. Any comments on this draft opinion should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat by 29 May 2010 and will be passed to the Committee when it concludes its assessment of this novel food ingredient.

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