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The chia (Salvia hispanica): Past, present and future of an ancient Mexican crop

Authors:
  • Nutrilite-Amway
  • Instituto Tecnológico José Mario Molina Pasquel y Henriquez, Campus Tamazula de Gordiano, Jalisco

Abstract

The history of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) as a domesticated crop presents many contradictions. Almost 4,500 years ago in Mesoamerica, chia was used as food and medicine. However, just only in three centuries, chia became a forgotten crop and remained an unknown crop for many years. Considering this issue, the main objective of this review was to testify the importance and history of chia as a Mexican ancestral crop. Chia along with corn and bean were keys for the nutrition of the ancient habitants in Mesoamerica. It has been reported that Spanish domination brought a massive reduction of the native population of Mexico down to 5 % (from 22 million of native people at 1520 to 1 million at 1620). These two facts caused the use of chia to diminish and almost disappear. The chia crop was rescued thanks to a small group of farmers in Jalisco, Guerrero, and Puebla. Around 1990, they developed a crop of chia and preserved the tradition of their use. Today its value as crop and food is so high and their cultivation and consumption are currently takes place in 30 countries. The chia’s demand will be increased up to 239 % by 2020 and its sales are expected to reach 1.2 billion dollars. It is clear that after 500 years of lethargy chia will be the Sleeping Beauty of Mexico.
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AJCS 12(10):1626-1632 (2018) ISSN:1835-2707
doi: 10.21475/ajcs.18.12.10.p1202
The chia (Salvia hispanica): past, present and future of an ancient Mexican crop
Anacleto Sosa-Baldivia1,3, Guadalupe Ruiz-Ibarra2, Raúl René Robles de la Torre3, Reyna Robles López3 ,
Aurora Montufar López4
1Nutrilite S de RL de CV. Av. México #8. Rancho el Petacal, Municipio de Tolimán Jalisco, México
2Instituto Tecnológico José Mario Molina Pasquel y Henriquez campus Tamazula, Tamazula de Gordiano Jalisco,
México
3Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CIBA-IPN, Unidad-Tlaxcala, Ex-Hacienda de San Juan Molino, Km 1.5 Carretera
Estatal Tecuexcomac-Tepetitla, Tepetitla, Tlaxcala, México
4Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), DF, México
*Corresponding author: anacleto.sosa@amway.com
Abstract
The history of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) as a domesticated crop presents many contradictions. Almost 4,500 years ago in
Mesoamerica, chia was used as food and medicine. However, just only in three centuries, chia became a forgotten crop
and remained an unknown crop for many years. Considering this issue, the main objective of this review was to testify the
importance and history of chia as a Mexican ancestral crop. Chia along with corn and bean were keys for the nutrition of the
ancient habitants in Mesoamerica. It has been reported that Spanish domination brought a massive reduction of the native
population of Mexico down to 5 % (from 22 million of native people at 1520 to 1 million at 1620). These two facts caused the use of
chia to diminish and almost disappear. The chia crop was rescued thanks to a small group of farmers in Jalisco, Guerrero, and
Puebla. Around 1990, they developed a crop of chia and preserved the tradition of their use. Today its value as crop and food is so
high and their cultivation and consumption are currently takes place in 30 countries. The chia’s demand will be increased up to 239
% by 2020 and its sales are expected to reach 1.2 billion dollars. It is clear that after 500 years of lethargy chia will be the Sleeping
Beauty of Mexico.
Key words: chia, polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, Proteins, Fiber, nutrition.
Abbreviations: PUFAS_ polyunsaturated fatty acids; B.C._ before Christ; A.C._ after Christ; USDA_ Department of Agriculture of the
United States; USA_ United States of America; Co._ company.
Introduction
Although the ancient people of Mesoamerica have used
chia (Salvia hispanica L.) as a food and medicine since 4,500
years ago, starting in the first decades of 16th century and in
only three centuries the chia crop was almost become an
unknown specie. According to Ayerza and Coates (2006), this
happened because the Spaniards banned its cultivation;
however, there is not enough information to support this
claim (Hernandez and León 1994). The reduction in
consumption of chia in Mexico has several origins, but the
primary causes were: (1) the decline of Mexican population
or Mexicas (2) the replacement of its cultivated area by plant
and animal species introduced from Europe; and (3) the diet
modification as result of availability of new foods. The
damage caused by the Spanish domination was so extensive,
that after cultivating 30,000 ha of chia in 1550, this area
decreased to a few hectares in 1810 (Sosa et al., 2017a). The
Spaniards who colonized Mexico chosen valleys with land
and water, and they had a scarce interest in mountainous
zones. This allowed the chia species be survived in some
locations of Mexico (Cahill, 2003). After the independence
(1810) it started growing again, and by 1932 the Ministry of
Agriculture reported that its cultivated area was 38 ha
(Rulfo, 1937). Small groups of Mexican farmers from of
Acatic Jalisco, Olinala Guerrero, and Chiepetlan Puebla,
played a critical role for the chia arrival into the decade of
90´s of last century. By these years, it was discovered that
the chia seed has a very high nutritional value; especially as
a source of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) Omega-3 -
3) proteins, and fiber; therefore, it readily became an
important crop. It was more sustainable and produced the
cheapest and safest source of food to fulfill the primary
requirements related to all these nutritional requirements.
The integration of chia into the modern era began in 1991
through the research project known as Northwestern
Regional Project. It was conducted in Argentina with the
support of the USA government. The project expanded the
cultivated area from 500 ha established in Mexico in 1994 to
370,000 ha in 13 countries in 2014, (Sosa et al., 2016).
Cassiday (2017) estimated that in the next three years, the
chia consumption will increase 239 % annually. This is due to
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the demand of sources of PUFAs ω-3, which is high and is
not covered (CRN, 2014). Additionally, the chia seed is also
used as a raw material to produce cosmetics, nutraceutical,
supplements, processed foods and beverages (Sandoval and
Paredes, 2013; Silveira and Salas, 2014). Ironically, although
the chia is a Mexican ancient crop with 5,000 years old, its
history was written just eleven years ago by Ayerza and
Coates (2006). The research works developed by these
researchers is great, but there is some literature published
before 1900 that they did not consult. Recently, Sosa et al.
(2016) published a work related with the importance of chia
as a source of PUFAs ω-3, but the paper extension did not
allow conducting a detailed analysis of its history. The
objective of this review was to undertake and provide an
updated history of the chia as crop and food around the
world.
History of chia
Pre-hispanic era (3500 B.C. - 1521 A.C.)
Since 3500 years B.C., the chia seed, would have been used
as food along with corn, bean, amaranth, pumpkin and chili.
All these crops were keys in the diet of Mexico and other
countries of America (Gutierrez et al., 2014). Teotihuacan
(100 B.C. - 600 A.C.) was presumably the first culture that
used the chia seed. This affirmation is based on
archaeological studies conducted in the pyramids of
Teotihuacan, where the chia seeds have been found as
offerings dedicated to gods (Morales et al., 2012). There are
no records that chia was cultivated on Teotihuacan. It is
thought that it was collected from wild plants and used for
religious purposes, medicine, and to make handcrafts but
not as food (de Agredos and Manzanilla, 2016). This
assumption is supported by two recent archaeological-
botanic studies conducted by Morales et al. (2012), and
Vazquez-Alonso et al. (2014). Several researchers have
reported that the Mayan culture (250-950 AC) used the chia
seed as food (di Sapio et al., 2008; Gutierrez et al., 2014;
Ullah et al., 2015; de Falco et al., 2017), but there is no hard
data to support that thought. The Mayan diet consisted of
plants, corn, beans, and squash (Lopez et al., 2012), and it
was supplemented with potato, chili, cassava, cacao and
local fruits (von Baeyer, 2010). Nevertheless, there are no
records or archaeological-botanic studies to support that the
Mayans used the chia seed as food. The Mexica culture
(1325 - 1521 A.C.) domesticated the chia crop, and the
Mendoza Codex records indicate that at beginning of 1500,
Tenochtitlan, the capital of this empire consumed between
4,000 and 15,000 ton per year of chia (Mohd et al., 2012).
Nevertheless, chia was not only important for the Mexicas.
There is evidence that in 1531, the Totorame culture
cultivated chia in Sinaloa, Mexico (some 1,500 km NW from
Tenochtitlan). The main evidence of that is found on the
“Lienzo de Tlaxcala” (Tlaxcaltec war book), also known as
Yaotlacuiloli (Bueno, 2010), painted by the Tlaxcaltecs
warriors, who accompanied to Nuño de Guzman and its
Spanish conquers in the conquest of Chiyametlán (today
Chametla). It is also very well known that the Tlahuica
culture cultivated chia in Morelos Mexico; according to
Dubernard (1991), Cuauhnahuac (today Cuernavaca,
Morelos) delivered chia as part of its tribute to the Mexica
Empire. In addition, Lopez (2010) reported that in 1530, the
Mexica population of Olinala and Temalacatzingo Guerrero
used the chia seed as food and medicine, and the chia oil in
handcrafts.
Colonial era (1550 - 1810 A.C.).
According to Ayerza (2014) on colony times, the use of chia
in Mexico declined because of the Mexicas used it in
religious rituals, so the Spaniards decided to prohibit the
cultivation and use of chia. However, the literature
published between 1550 through 1810 does not support this
hypothesis. For example, Farfan (1610) on his Medicine
Treatise for the Diseases Management in Mexico
recommended it to cure malnutrition and ophthalmic
diseases. On the other side, Lopez (2010) reported that in
1530, the Spaniards allowed using the chia oil to
manufacture handcrafts at Olinala Guerrero. The Spanish
Crown granted this privilege in recognition because the
inhabitants of Olinala did not resist evangelization (Tibon,
1982). By a similar quote, Hernan Cortés gave a reward to
the inhabitants of Chamilpa Morelos for the unconditional
support to build a Palace in Cuernavaca, Morelos, on 1537.
He donated cultivable land for the production of chia. In
addition, he provided an arm shield recognized by the
Spanish Crown. The top part exhibits a vessel filled with chia
seeds representing the Chiamilpan, a word that in Tlahuica
language means: field cultivated with chia (Dubernard,
1991). The three historical facts mentioned above indicate
that the chia was accepted by the Spaniards; therefore, the
modern researchers really confused it with amaranth, which
was considered a sacrilegious crop (Mapes, 2017). According
to Sosa et al. (2017a), the main causes related to reduction
of chia use were: (1) the decline of the native population of
Mexico, whose crop was key for their daily diet. Gerhard
(1986) reported that between 1520 and 1620 the Mexican
population decreased from 22 million to 1.0 million; (2) the
replacement of the area cultivated with chia by plant and
animal species introduced from Europe (wheat, barley, sugar
cane, cattle, sheep and other ones), (Hernández and León,
1994); and (3) the diet modification as a result of the
availability of new animal and plant foods (Roman et al.,
2013). To determine how these events affected the chia use
is not possible. Nonetheless, the drastic reduction of the
Mexican population during the first century of colonization
could have caused the greatest impact. This assumption is
made considering that in the regions, where the Mexican
population was extinct, chia had the same destiny. There is
evidence that the Totorame culture cultivated chia in
Chametla Sinaloa in 1831 (Bueno, 2010), but the slavery,
persecution, and diseases caused the the Totorame
population drop to 1 % (Rosenblat, 1945) in just 21 years of
Spanish domination. So, by the end of 19th century, the
Totorame culture was disappeared (Noriega, 1898), and its
habitat place was occupied by white and mestizo people
(Macias, 2009). As result of this, today in Chametla, there is
no Totorame population and the chia crop is not cultivated.
In contrast, Temalacatzingo, Guerrero was one of the few
locations in Mexico where the limited presence of Spaniards
allowed the population to keep the chia tradition alive. This
has made it possible for generations to share information
between them (Lopez, 2010). The 289 years of Spanish
domination caused the use of chia to almost disappear. This
fact is reflected not only as the loss of knowledge associated
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with its use, agronomic management and varieties
developed (Gutierrez et al., 2014); but also the scarce
literature published about chia on Mexico. According to
León (1895), 805 publications of Agriculture published
between 1521 and 1810, only Farfan (1610) dedicated a few
lines to highlight the chia use as food and medicine in
Mexico; while at an international level, the more relevant
fact was its botanical classification done by Linneo (1753).
Post-colony era (1810-1990 A.C.).
The chia crop could overcome the damage caused by the
Spanish domination, because some locations like Puebla,
Guerrero, Morelos, Michoacán, and Jalisco in Mexico
continued its cultivation. The record of operations
uncovered by the NAO of China indicates that between 1719
and 1801, chia seed was exported from Mexico to Europe
(Sosa and Ruiz, 2016). In 1832, the Academy of Spanish
Language changed the chian term to the actual word chia
(Haugen, 2009). This change standardized the use of chia
among Spanish speakers, but it also caused confusion for the
modern researchers, especially those who do not know
about the crops of chia, chan, huazontle, amaranth, and
psyllium, and commit a common mistake of calling all these
crops, chia crops (Sosa et al., 2017a). The chia was used as
medicine in Puebla Mexico. The AMQP (1832) in its “Primer
Ensayo de Materia Médica” recommended chia as an
emollient, energizing food being used for the treatment of
malnutrition and ophthalmic diseases. This was later
confirmed by AFRM (1846) in its ¨Farmacopea Mexicana¨.
De La Llave (1833) conducted the first formal study on chia.
His work included and highlighted the nutritional properties
of chia. He affirmed that the chia was not native to Spain,
and he suggested changing the scientific name to Salvia
nezahualia or Salvia chian in order to correct this mistake.
Sixteen years later, Guibourt (1849a), in the book ¨Natural
History of Simple Drugs¨ wrote about the medicinal use of
chia. He reaffirmed an article published by the journal
Pharmacie et de Chimie (Guibourt, 1849b). There are
records that Mexico exported chia to the USA in 1872
(Garcia, 1880). According to Flowers (1882), at this time the
chia seed was sold at an exorbitant price because its
production was not possible in the USA. He reported that in
this country the chia crop was unknown and often is
replaced by psyllium (Plantago psyllium L.), possessing
similar properties to chia (Urbina, 1887). In 1982, Maisch
(1882) wrote the first extensive paper about the use of chia
in food and medicine. Similar to Subeiran (1887), he
concluded that chia should be studied in the medical field. In
Mexico, Urbina (1887) published a paper to prove that chia
did not grow in Spain. Similarly, De la Llave (1833),
suggested changing its scientific name to S. chian. He coined
the Soubeiran phrase (1887) “the future will decide”. He
predicted the chia would be an important industrial crop.
After 1890, chia production in Mexico began to increase and
Garcia (1893) reported that in 1893, 138 tons were
harvested, in which state of Guanajuato was the primary
producer. Three years later, the Mexican National School of
Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine recognized the
importance of chia as an oilseed, and it was included in the
same group of sesame, peanut, and flaxseed (SACC, 1896).
At end of 19th century, it was grown in Jalisco, Sinaloa,
Chiapas, Michoacan, and Guanajuato, Mexico (Noriega,
1898). At the beginning of the twentieth century, the
Department of Agriculture of the United States (USDA)
expressed interests in chia. It saved specimens of S.
hispanica and S. tiliaefolia in their herbarium (Kearney and
Gardner, 1901). Later in 1918, it also collected chia from San
Luis Potosí, México, the code assigned to it in his seed
inventory was 46,645 (Taylor, 1922). The USDA interest to
study the chia was possibly triggered by the patented the
use of chia oil as a solvent of paints by Lomanitz (1917).
Between 1921 and 1922, the USDA conducted several tests
to evaluate the agronomic performance of chia in
agricultural areas of six states of USA (Gardner, 1922).
However, the results disillusioned people, because in almost
all locations the chia crop did not bloom and neither
produce seed. The first official record associated with the
commercial production of chia appeared in 1932. In that
year, the Ministry of agriculture of Mexico reported that
there was 38 ha cultivated with chia. On average the seed
yield was 344 kg ha-1, and the main producer states of chia
were Jalisco, Puebla, and Guerrero (Sosa et al., 2017a). The
first agronomic study of chia in Mexico was conducted by
Rulfo (1937). His work showed that it was feasible to achieve
yields higher than 1.0 ton ha-1 and in some locations it’s
possible to get two cycles per year. The first scientific
evidence about the high content of PUFAs ω-3 in chia was
presented by Lloyd et al. (1946). However, because its
importance in the human nutrition was unknown, chia
continued to be seen as an exotic seed used to prepare fresh
drinks, paints to decorate handcrafts, and alive pets (Small,
2011). The key step to recognize its importance occurred in
1975, when in Greenland the PUFAs ω-3 essentiality on
humans was discovered (Dyerberg et al., 1975). Based on
this finding, nutrition guides soon recommended ingesting
between 900 and 2,000 mg of PUFAs ω-3 per day to prevent
cardiovascular problems (Covert, 2009), and for people
diagnosed with coronary arteriosus, this recommendation is
key to control the disease (Lichtenstein et al., 2006). As all
food sources to cover the PUFAs ω-3 requirements in a diet
are scarce (Menhaden fish, salmon, algae, and flaxseed),
having restrictions and high cost, chia became the ideal
source to meet the PUFAs ω-3 requirements (di Sapio et al.,
2008).
Modern era (1990-2010).
Chia crop arrived in the twenty-first century without being
incorporated with the changes needed to adapt the modern
era. In part, this was due the fact that it did not travel with
its ancient’s mate’s corn, bean, cocoa, chili, pumpkin, and
tomatoes; hence, it is not one of the constituents of modern
diets as the others are. This explains why the chia was not
known in most countries of the world. According to Sosa et
al. (2016), its use was limited to regions which adopted it
before the arrival of the Spaniards to America. Starting in
1990, the chia status as a crop was changed because it
demonstrated the essentiality of PUFAs ω-3 in human
nutrition, which renewed scientific interest in chia. This also
generated the first published works reporting the
importance as a source of lipids, proteins, and fiber by
Weber et al. (1991). At this time researchers of USA and
Argentina visited Acatic, Jalisco, México to learn the basis of
agronomic management of chia. They later conducted a
research project named ¨Northwestern Argentina Regional
1629
Project¨ (Sosa et al., 2016). The main goals of this project
were to study the nutritional profile, adaptation, breeding,
agronomic management and marketing of chia in different
agricultural regions of Argentina as well as Peru, Colombia,
Bolivia, and Ecuador (Ayerza and Coates, 2006). Within the
last 22 years, the results of that project have been
published, and the technology developed has been vital to
promote the use and production of chia around the world
(Sosa et al., 2017a). The first application to legally trade chia
in Europe was made by R. Craig & Sons in 2003. Since it was
uncompleted, the procedure was taken up by Columbus
Paradigm Institute S.A in 2006. Later, it was the Committee
on Regulation of Food in Europe who approved it in 2009
(TCC, 2011). The EFSA (2009) did not find any record that the
chia was used before 1997. Europe, in accordance with the
regulation of novel foods No. 258/97, classified the chia as a
novel food. Currently, the use of the chia has been approved
worldwide, and its seed is consumed directly or indirectly in
baked goods, cereals, dried fruit, mixed with nuts and other
seeds, non-alcoholic fruit drinks, oil and flour (FSAI, 2015). In
addition, it also is used as raw material in the production of
supplements, nutraceuticals and cosmetics that are sold in
30 countries (Gleeson et al., 2014).
Present
The Chia boom (2010 to 2017).
In the last seven years, the importance of chia has increased
immensely, after living five centuries in oblivion. Today, it is
subject of intense research (Deka and Ash, 2017). There are
some sources that meet the requirements of PUFAs ω-3
(Menhaden fish, salmon, algae, and flax oil) (di Sapio et al.,
2008). However, chia is the safest, cheapest, and the most
sustainable source, as the intake of 25 to 50 g day-1 is
enough to meet the daily demand of PUFAs ω-3 (Vuksan et
al. 2007). Taking into account that chia contains a high
content of PUFAs of ω-3 (58-64 % of the total lipids),
proteins (16-24 %), lipids (31-35 %), and fiber (34-56 %)
(Segura et al., 2014; Valdivia and Tecante, 2015), its demand
has increased over 239 % per year, and its sales will be $ 1.2
billion dollars in 2020 (Cassiday, 2017). The importance of
chia as a crop is quite high, and countries located on the
template zone such as USA, Chile, Argentina, Italy, and
France where the weather does not allow its cultivation, are
evaluating different agronomic practices to adapt it (Sosa et
al., 2017a). The main problem faced by all these countries is
that chia only grows between latitudes 20° 55' N and 25° 05'
S. This is partly due to that blooming requires a photoperiod
less than 12.5 hours of light. Therefore, when it is
established at latitudes beyond than 39° 11´ S (Choele Choel,
Argentina) and 32° 14´ N (Tucson Arizona, USA), it does not
produce seed because the frosts kill it (Jamboonsri et al.,
2012; Sorondo, 2014). To solve this issue, some countries
developed cultivars capable to bloom in locations, where the
photoperiod is higher than 12.5 hours, and currently there
are five varieties insensitive to photoperiod registered
around the world. The first one is the Heartland variety. It
was derived by mutation with gamma radiation at the
Lexington University of Kentucky USA (Hildebrand et al.,
2013). It is available as a white seed and black seed, and
Heartland Co. has the breeding rights (Heartland, 2016).
Peru registered the varieties Sahi Alba 911 and Sahi Alba
912, and Argentina patented the Alba Sahi 914 variety.
Similar to the Heartland variety, all of them have intellectual
protection (Vuskan et al., 2007; Sorondo, 2014). The last
cultivar registered is Oruro; it was developed by the Agrofun
Co. in France (Michael, 2017). Mexico and Thailand also are
conducting breeding research on chia. In Jalisco Mexico, the
Nutrilite Co. identified the experimental genotype named as
G-39. It will be patented as the first variety of white chia
with high seed yield on the world (its name will be
Rehnborg) (Sosa and Ruiz, 2018). This claim is done
considering that the chia varieties developed in Argentina,
Peru, USA, and France do not have records to support that
their yield potential has been improved. The use of varieties
with photoperiod insensitivity allowed the chia production in
Argentina. In four years, its planted land area changed from
100 ha in 2010 to 120,000 ha in 2014 (Sosa et al., 2017a).
The adoption of chia by Argentina was so fast, that today it is
the primary producer of this oilseed. A key factor in
achieving this was the marketing strategy that Agrisalba S.A.
implemented in 2006 to their seeds. This Peruvian company
affirms that the white seed is more nutritive than the black
seed, and it gave to the white chia seed the denomination of
¨Salba¨ (Vuskan, 2007). However, that was only a marketing
strategy, because the results of studies that have compared
the nutritional profile of both two phenotypes do not
support this claim (Ayerza, 2013; Bueno et al., 2016;
Cassiday, 2017). The production of chia in the USA has been
very poor. Today, it is restricted to the states of Kentucky
and Florida, and the yield potential is only 290 kg ha-1
(Schneider, 2014). In Italy and Chile, the researchers focused
to identify the best planting dates to produce chia (Amato et
al., 2015; Bochicchio et al., 2015). However until 2015, the
results were disappointing because the yield was low and it
often does not produce seeds. Recently, Caruso et al (2018)
produce chia in Italy. They used a genotype provided by the
University of Kentucky USA (insensitive to photoperiod). In
Chile, the results are promising. Baginsky et al. (2016)
recently found that planting between January and March at
Arica Chile it is possible to produce 1.3 to 2.5 ton ha-1. In the
last four years, Australia has become the fifth producer of
chia (Peperkamp, 2015). Currently, this country achieves the
highest average of seed yield at the world (1.1 ton ha-1) and
a high percentage of its production (10,000 ton year-1) is
exported to 30 countries (Gleeson et al., 2014). In tropical
regions (latitude 23°30´ N and S) like Jalisco Mexico, Ghana
Africa, and Mymensingh, Bangladesh, it is possible to
achieve high yields of chia (1.03-2.61 ton ha-1) (Yeboah et al.,
2014; Karim et al., 2015; Sosa et al., 2017b,c). Recently, Sosa
et al. (2017b) reported that in some locations of Mexico the
climatic conditions allow producing two cycles per year. In
both cycles it is feasible to get high productivity. To this date
farmers continue producing just one cycle per year. Chia is
mainly a rainy season crop (Ramirez and Lozano, 2015),
therefore, Mexico is the third largest producer of chia in the
world.
Future
From 2017 onwards
The tendency to increase the global consumption of chia and
its use as a raw material has confirmed a 131-year-old
prediction by Urbina (1887). This Mexican botanist claimed
1630
that it would be an important crop in the food industry.
Currently, the use of chia on the human nutrition is so wide,
that universities, research centers and private companies
are developing technology to exploit it as raw material of
PUFAs ω-3, protein and fiber in beverages, food
supplements, processed foods and cosmetics (Sosa et al.,
2017a). As result of this, the chia crop is extending faster
around the world, and today, Purechia (2013), the leading
company in the chia production is producing chia in 29
countries and it distributes 36 products of chia in 30
countries. Undoubtedly, the next generation of functional
foods, supplements, processed foods cosmetics will have the
chia seed as their primary ingredient. In all these products
the active ingredient will be either PUFAs ω-3, protein, or
fiber, from the seed of chia, an ancestral Mexican crop that
although forgotten for more than 500 years, but has been
brought back by science. Therefore, it is available again to
help improving the human health around the world. In fact,
Sosa et al. (2016) considered that the chia crop has been
sleeping for more than 500 years. Its destiny is to become
the ¨Sleeping Beauty¨ of the functional crops. Orona-
Tamayo et al. (2016) baptized it as the golden crop of this
century.
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... Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is a flowering species plant within the family Lamiacea (Order: Lamiales) and related to aromatic species such as mints (Mentha spp.), rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), Swedish ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus), thyme (Thymus sp.), basil (Ocimum basiliscus), and oregano (Origanum vulgare) [1]. Chia is a pseudocereal native to Central and Southern Mexico and Guatemala [2,3]. Chia seeds are small (2 mm) and oval grains, from white to dark-gray in tone and have a spotted surface. ...
... Chia is an ancestry seed crop grown and consumed by the Mesoamerican civilizations for feed, economic, and religious purposes [5]. Chia was a staple food cultivated on a small scale in homeland areas, together with amaranths (Amaranthus spp.), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), corn (Zea mays), and squashes (Cucurbita spp.), by Aztec, Mayan, and Mixtec cultures [2,3]. During the colonial period, this crop was forgotten, and it would almost disappear had it not been for the work of a few scattered farmers in Southern Mexico and Central America [3]. ...
... Chia was a staple food cultivated on a small scale in homeland areas, together with amaranths (Amaranthus spp.), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), corn (Zea mays), and squashes (Cucurbita spp.), by Aztec, Mayan, and Mixtec cultures [2,3]. During the colonial period, this crop was forgotten, and it would almost disappear had it not been for the work of a few scattered farmers in Southern Mexico and Central America [3]. In recent years, chia has been considered an emerging superfood since its cultivation and consumption occur in more than 30 countries [3,6,7]. ...
Chapter
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds are rich in oil (29–39%) and protein (18–25%). In addition, they contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. From an agricultural perspective, this crop grows in more than 30 countries, and its yield can reach >3 tons/ha in native areas (Mexico and Central and South America). Chia is mainly cultivated for its oil. This chapter presents the processes applied for chia oil extraction and chia oil’s composition and attributes. The food and non-food applications of chia oil processing by-products are also reviewed. Applications include functional foods, materials, and bioenergy applications. Finally, some research avenues for future work are presented.
... We postulated that Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) has potential as a forage crop given that it should be suitable due to its' short day length flowering response which should delay its flowering and help in producing and maintaining desirable vegetative growth. Chia is a short-day plant; however, some reports indicate existence of long-day Chia germplasm (Caruso et al., 2018;Sosa-Baldivia et al., 2018). ...
... Almost 4,500 years ago in Mesoamerica, Chia was used as food and medicine. However, just only in three centuries, Chia became a forgotten crop and remained an unknown crop for many years (Sosa-Baldivia et al., 2018). The Chia crop was rescued thanks to a small group of farmers in Jalisco, Guerrero, and Puebla. ...
... Today its value as crop and food is so high and their cultivation and consumption are currently taking place in 30 countries. It is asserted that after 500 years of lethargy Chia will be the Sleeping Beauty of Mexico (Sosa-Baldivia et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
With a view towards expanding the menu of available summer forages, a study was conducted to characterize forage traits of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.). When grown in Virginia (mid-Atlantic region of the United States) during 2019 and 2020, 60-day old whole vegetative plants of both black-seeded and white-seeded Chia contained approximately 21 percent protein, 1.5 percent potassium, 2.06 percent calcium, 2.4 percent crude fat, 21.2 percent ADF, and 29.4 percent NDF. The fresh and dry biomass yields were 8310 and 814 kg ha-1, respectively. Based on forage quality values of Chia produced in other countries and other forages, it was concluded that Chia is a potential forage crop.
... Chia is derived linguistically from the Nahua term "Chian" which in Mexica language means "oily", and still today although considered a pseurocereal, chia is best known as an oilseed [7,31]. Based on this grammatical nomenclature as an adjective suggested the Mexica people referred to all species of the genus Salvia as chian [32]. ...
... The confusion began to intensify when it became clear that chia was being used for plants of non-Salvia genus species such as amaranth (Amaranthus hypocondriacus) [17]; chan (Hyptis suaveolens) [15], plantago (Plantago psyllim) [14], and huazontle (Chenopodium nuttalliae) [16]. The use of the word chia used to describe at least four distinct plants throughout history was perhaps a result of the comings and goings of the Spanish brigades landing in Mexico who were apparently unassuming of the ancient terms and correct botanical usage [7], but according to Sosa-Baldivia et al. [32], there is no scientific evidence to support this hypothesis. Regarding amaranth as an aside, in the Codex of Mendoza [25], there is indication that the Spanish knew quite well of this plant and its uses, and so this ancient grain and leafy green vegetable species and the other amaranth plants were in Spanish language terms collectively called Bledo (pig weed). ...
... A key fact that promoted chia consumption globally was Agrisalba SA's marketing strategy that it had implemented in 2006. It is important to note that this Peru-based company not only patented their own white chia seed varieties (Sahi Alba 911, and Sahi Alba 912), but also claimed that their white seed contains a higher nutritional value than the black chia seed produced from the Mexican cultivars "Pinta Acatic" and "Black Puebla" [32]. They even went as far as to introduce 'Salba' publicly as a new common name for their white chia seed [51]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This review presents an in-depth perspective on the history of scientific nomenclature and common name change of the well-known ancient oilseed crop, Chia. Prior to the 16th century, the chia crop was given the name (1) Chian by the Mexica culture. Later in mid-18th century (2) the botanist Pehr Löfling scientifically called Chia Salvia hispanica, which was later published by Carl Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum book. By 1832, this scientific name became well-accepted among the Spanish Language Academy (3), effectively replacing the Nahua term Chian by the new Spanish word Chia. During the same era in Mexico, Pablo de la Llave (4) called it Salvia chian; and confirmed that chia did not grow in the production areas of Spain. In the 20th century, (5) Salvia chia was assigned by the botanist Merritt L. Fernald while Nicholas I. Vavilov used this exact Latin binomial name to demonstrate that the region passing through southern Mexico and into Guatemala was the geographical origin of the chia plant. In 2006, the company Agrisalba SA in Peru bred the white chia seed phenotype using conventional methods and called it Salba. Furthermore, finally in 2012 (7), the International Plant Name Index assigned the common name Chia to the Salvia mexicana species which corrected all inconsistencies assigned to this Mexican chia ecotype since Linnaeus’s work nearly 265 years ago. This internationally accepted nomenclature pays tribute to this Mexican crop with deep ancestral roots, and was by consensus a means to restore its identity which without a doubt is in-line with its original significance: “A Mexican plant to cure or save.”
... En la época prehispánica a la chía se conoció con el nombre de chian (Mendoza, 1542;Farfán, 1610;Hernández, 1615) y hasta antes de arribar los españoles a América, el maíz, el frijol y la chía fueron la base alimenticia de la población nativa de varias regiones de México. Tal fue el caso del pueblo Totorame en Chametla Sinaloa, los Tlahuicas en Chamilpa Morelos, los Nahuas en Olinala y Temalacatzingo Guerrero, y los Mexicas en el valle central (Sosa et al., 2018b). La chía fue el tercer cultivo más consumido, y su importancia llegó a ser tan grande que además de formar parte de los tributos que anualmente los pueblos dominados les entregaban a los Mexicas, también se usó como ofrenda en rituales religiosos (Figura 1 a, b, y c). ...
... Sin embargo, estos investigadores no presentaron evidencias científicas para sustentar su tesis. De acuerdo con Sosa et al. (2018b), y como se puede apreciar en la Figura 1c, el amaranto era una especie bien conocida por los españoles, y la diferenciaban de la chía dándole el nombre de bledo. Los Mexicas por su parte al amaranto ya le habían asignado un nombre común y le llamaban Huautli (Cuadro 1). ...
Article
Full-text available
Este articulo es una revision bibliografica relacionada con los cambios que ha sufrido la chia desde los tiempos prehispanicos hasta nuestros dias.
Chapter
Seeds as culinary ingredients have become increasingly popular in recent years primarily due to their nutrient density and potential health benefits. Although their classification as a superfood is a relatively new phenomena, the culinary and medicinal use of seeds dates back to ancient civilizations. Specifically, this chapter will examine three popular seeds: chia, flax, and hemp.KeywordsFlax (or flaxseed)Chia (or chia seed)Hemp (or hempseed)Omega-3Fatty acidsFiber
Article
Full-text available
Chia seeds, being the golden seeds of the 21 st century, have a great potential for the food industries, because of their exceptional nutritional composition and functional properties, have been successively incorporated in the formulating of nutritious products, thus, classifying them as novel food ingredients. The current demand of producing nutritionally enriched and specially designed food products for gluten intolerant, celiac, diabetic, obese and cardiac patients, have taken a greater speed toward exploring the utilization of chia seeds. Therefore, a review about the industrial potential of chia seeds has been performed by focusing research studies belonging to various industries, such as, baking, dairy, oil, meat, extrusion and packaging industry. The studies were mostly conducted with the proportions ranging from 2.5-20% of either intact chia seeds, chia flour, chia mucilage or chia seed oil separately or in combinations. In all the studies, the resultant product has increased nutritional content, particularly PUFAs but may face some technical limitations as the chia seed content increases. However, among all studies it was observed that the 2.5% incorporations of either intact chia seeds, chia flour, chia mucilage or combinations, apart from meeting EU allowance limits, tend to produce products without any detrimental effect on quality parameters and resulted in developed product with high purchase intent. Citation: Masood, M. A B. Chia Seeds as Potential Nutritional and Functional Ingredients: A Review of their Applications for Various Food Industries, J Nut Food Sci Tech, 2022, 4(1): 1-14.
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Within the coffee industry, the need has arisen to generate different uses of the grain, due to the health impact generated by coffee on consumers, many studies have been carried out about its composition and its benefits thanks to antioxidants that are present in the bean. The lipid fraction of the bean is composed of fatty acids, sterols, diterpenes, tocopherols, and triglycerides, which influence the aroma and flavor of coffee. Coffee lipids are mostly distributed in the endosperm of the grain and only part is in the outer layer in the form of wax. Coffee beans contain between 7 and 17% total lipids, Arabica coffee has between 10.5 and 17.5% and Robusta coffee has between 8 and 10%. Cafestol and kahweol are diterpenes present in coffee oil, these lipids are interesting owing to their impact on human health. Cafestol is present in both species (Arabica and Robusta). However, kahweol is specifically presented in Arabica coffee. These are classified as pentacyclic diterpenes penta cyclic based on isoprene fusion (C5) to form a 20-carbon kauran skeleton. Kahweol differs from cafestol by a double link between C1 and C2. Both compounds have low light and heat stability. Evidence has been accumulated showing that cafestol, and kahweol have a relevant role as antioxidants, antitumor, chemoprotective, and anti-inflammatory effects. Green coffee oil has antioxidant compounds such as β-tocopherol (47.12 g/g), γ-tocopherol (2.63 g/g), and α-tocopherol (16.72 g/g). Therefore, the study of green coffee oil is relevant. Extraction and/ or isolation of the main functional compounds can be carried out by different methodologies such as the use of presses, solvent extraction, extraction with supercritical CO2, microwave-assisted extraction, and extraction of pressurized liquid. There are studies in which the oil has been extracted and characterized, where these suggest that it has applications for the food industry and provides health benefits, due to its effectiveness in protecting oxidative stress through kahweol and cafestol that mainly act as antioxidants.
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