Chia (Salvia hispanica) is an annual herbaceous plant, the seeds of which were consumed already thousands of years ago. Current research results indicate a high nutritive value for chia seeds and confirm their extensive health-promoting properties. Research indicates that components of chia seeds are ascribed a beneficial effect on the improvement of the blood lipid profile, through their hypotensive, hypoglycaemic, antimicrobial and immunostimulatory effects. This article provides a review of the most important information concerning the potential application of chia seeds in food production. The chemical composition of chia seeds is presented and the effect of their consumption on human health is discussed. Technological properties of chia seeds are shown and current legal regulations concerning their potential use in the food industry are presented.
Keywords: Salvia hispanica; antioxidant activity; chia seeds; fatty acids; health-promoting properties; omega-3.