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Will Andean Grain Products get its wish to become the next chia seed supplier for Europe?
It’s been just over a year since The Chia Company (Port Melbourne, Australia) earned novel food status for chia seeds in Europe, but several other companies are already vying for a piece of the chia pie.
According to the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), Andean Grain Products Ltd. (London) is its latest applicant for chia seed sales in Europe. The company wants to sell chia seeds for use in breads, baked goods, cereals, stand-alone products, and for fruit, nut, and seed mixes. But it needs novel approval from a competent legal body in Europe, such as the FSA, before it can go to market.
Andean Grain Products is hoping the FSA will approve its seeds based on their equivalence in species to the chia seeds already sold in Europe by The Chia Company. Another chia supplier, Nutrisure Ltd., received EU market approval based on this equivalence factor in 2013.
Historically, chia seeds have not been consumed to a significant degree in Europe-which is why a novel food application is required-but regulatory bodies seem quite comfortable with the ingredient so far. Early last year, the European Commission increased usage rates for chia seeds across several consumer product categories.
The novel food application for Andean Grain Products can be read online.