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The company says its supercritical CO2 extraction technique essentially washes chia without water.
In light of a recent handful of chia product recalls, Valensa International (Eustis, FL) is promoting its chia technology as a safe means for processing chia without the risk of Salmonella growth.
“Processing chia is inherently difficult, since chia seed cannot be conventionally washed and cleaned,” says Valensa CEO Rudi Moerck. “When you introduce chia seeds to water, they form a mucilaginous complex.” It’s this mucilage that may have been the cause of some of the recent outbreaks, despite the fact that chia mucilage can offer some pretty interesting mouthfeel properties to beverages and other products.
Valensa says it eliminates chia’s bacterial risk through proprietary milling and CO2 extraction techniques that don’t involve oxygen exposure and guarantee low bacterial counts and long shelf life. The CO2 process essentially washes the seeds with gas. Patents are now in place for Valensa’s technologies, and they have been applied to the company’s ChiaGold chia seed oil and ChiaMax chia flour. The company says its resulting chia ingredients aren’t just “worry-free,” but they may even be more nutritious than conventional chia by offering more fiber, more omega-3s, and more calories.
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