Chia seed approval sought

6 Aug 2015

Advantage Health Matters has applied to the UK’s FSA for chia seeds to be approved for use in the European Union (EU) under the simplified approval procedure. Views are wanted on the company’s application by Thursday 20 August 2015. The company is requesting an opinion from the FSA on the ‘equivalence’ of its chia seeds, […]

Chia seed approval sought

chia-seeds-chia-word-made-chia-seeds-selective-focus-52611481Advantage Health Matters has applied to the UK’s FSA for chia seeds to be approved for use in the European Union (EU) under the simplified approval procedure. Views are wanted on the company’s application by Thursday 20 August 2015.

The company is requesting an opinion from the FSA on the ‘equivalence’ of its chia seeds, which are grown in particular regions of South America, with the chia seeds marketed by The Chia Company that are grown in Australia.

The European Novel Foods Regulation includes a simplified approval procedure for when a company believes its novel food is substantially equivalent to a food that is already on the market. In such a situation, the applicant can submit a notification to the European Commission after obtaining an opinion on equivalence from an EU member state – in this case the UK.

Chia is a summer annual herbaceous plant belonging to the mint family. It grows from a seedling to develop lush green foliage before it produces long flowers which are either purple or, less commonly, white. These flowers develop into seed pods to produce chia seeds. Although chia is grown commercially in several Latin American countries and Australia, the seeds have not been consumed to a significant degree in Europe.

The applicant’s 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).

A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of co