Use of Chia seed in foodstuffs

The seed of the Chia plant (Salvia hispanica) is considered a novel food requiring a operator-specific authorisation for sale and marketing. Several companies have been authorised to use Chia seed in their products falling into the following food groups. Authorised and notified novel foods are listed on the EU Commission’s web site.

Under Commission Decisions (2009/827/EC, 2013/50/EU, 2014/890/EU) or an authorisation issued by a Member State (Ireland’s letter of authorisation), sale of Chia seed and Chia oil is permitted in the following food groups:

  • Bread products (maximum content 5%, ground Chia see also permitted) 
  • Other bakery products (maximum content 10%) 
  • Breakfast cereals (maximum content 10%) 
  • Fruit, nut and seed mixtures (maximum content 10%) 
  • Pre-packaged Chia seed as such (maximum 15 g per day) 
  • Cold-pressed Chia oil (maximum content in fats and oils 10% and maximum intake in food supplements 2 g per day) 
  • Fruit juices and fruit juice mixtures (maximum content 15 g/450 ml, ground and crushed seed also permitted)


More detailed conditions of use and the labelling requirements are set out in the relevant decisions. 

Listed here are examples of products containing Chia and the authorisation status of such products in the EU food market. The interpretations have been arrived at in consultation with the Commission and the Member States.

Product description  Authorisation status   Grounds
Chia jellies or puddings (incl. a product called Chia pod) Not authorised Considered a dessert not included in authorised food groups
Yoghurt with a separately packaged Chia seed mixture in the lid Authorised The mixture in the lid is considered to be part of the ‘breakfast cereals’ food group and the seed is packaged separately from the yoghurt 
Porridge containing Chia seed  Authorised  Considered to be included in the ‘breakfast cereals’ food group 
Creamy dessert containing Chia seed  Not authorised  Dessert is not an authorised food group 
Tea-based drink containing added Chia seed  Not authorised  Unauthorised food group 
Rice drink containing Chia seed  Not authorised  Unauthorised food group 
Fruit juice based Chia smoothie  Authorised  Considered to be included in the ‘fruit juice mixtures’ food group 
Chia seed served as a roll filling   Not authorised Authorised for use in baking rolls, not as roll filling 
Chia seed served as a salad filling  Not authorised  Unauthorised food group 
Products where Chia seed is packaged separately from the actual product, e.g. in the lid  Authorised Chia seed may be sold in pre-packaged form if the label specifies a maximum daily intake of 15 g 
Loose sale Not authorised Chia seed may be sold in pre-packaged form if the label specifies a maximum daily intake of 15 g
Vegetable pie containing Chia seed Authorised Considered to be included in the ‘bakery products’ food group

 


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