Vitafoods preview: EC novel food approval in progress for BENEXIA chia oil

Promising new, concentrated omega-3 product for the food and nutraceutical industry

First to bring the exceptional nutritional value of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) to Europe, BENEXIA now offers a promising new, concentrated omega-3 product — chia oil — for the food and nutraceutical industry.

The novel food application for BENEXIA chia oil, pursuant to Article 4 of Regulation 258/97, was submitted to the UK’s Food Standards Agency by Functional Products Trading SA (Chile) in partnership with Ingredia Nutritional (Stand 20021), and received a positive draft opinion. We are now reaching the final step of the process: the European Commission approval for the use of chia oil as a novel food ingredient is expected soon. The requested uses in Europe are as follows: food supplements (2 g/day); plant fats and oils (maximum 10%).

BENEXIA chia oil is obtained by cold pressing the seed, guaranteeing a 100% pure, natural oil that’s free from contaminants. A low temperature is maintained throughout the process and no chemical solvents or diluents are used, safeguarding the seed’s nutritional characteristics and ensuring low acidity and peroxide levels. Chia oil is a very sustainable source of omega-3 compared with animal sources.

Chia oil has the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids found in nature: more than 60% of its composition is alpha linolenic acid (ALA). In recent years, a number of studies have shown that the consumption of ALA from chia oil can significantly increase hepatic levels of w-3 LCPUFA, including DHA, by using the natural metabolic ways of the body.

BENEXIA chia oil also contains bioactive antioxidants, tocopherols and phytosterols, is cholesterol and trans fat free, and is non-allergenic, making it an amazingly rich nutritional ingredient. This unique composition provides clinically proven cardiovascular benefits: heart health improvement, stroke risk and cardiac rhythm decrease. According to the Regulation (EU) No. 432/2012, “Alpha-linolenic acid contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels” when 1.2 g/day of ALA are consumed.

BENEXIA chia oil provides outstanding functional properties compared with other omega-3 sources on the market, offering high oxidative stability, a delicious nutty taste, no odour or aftertaste and comes as a liquid form at ambient temperature. It’s efficient, ideal for soft capsules and one 500mg softgel provides 310mg of ALA, allowing manufacturers to obtain optimum fat blend rations and boost health benefits with a relevant quantity of omega-3 and antioxidants.

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Ingredia (more information, website)

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