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Chia Seed vs Salba

Last updated on April 17, 2008

In my research into chia (Salvia hispanica) I’ve come across an issue that has sparked much discussion on the Internet. There seems to be some confusion and disagreement over whether chia is the same thing as Salba, a brand of white chia seed produced by a Toronto-based company of the same name.

I found a website where people are discussing the issue. It’s an informative read. On the site, a representative from Salba says that their brand of chia includes two registered varieties of chia that have patents pending: Sahi Alba 911 and Sahi Alba 912. She also claims that these two varieties are the only ones on which clinical studies into the health benefits of chia have been done.

Now, this seems a bit dishonest. Dr. Wayne Coates of the University of Arizona is considered the world expert on chia seeds. He has done extensive research into chia and co-authored a book called Chia: Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs.

In one interview, Dr. Coates was asked to give his thoughts on Salba and he said: “It’s a joke. Salba is just the white chia. You can go to our website where we compare white versus black chia.”

The chia I bought at Whole Foods is made by Greens Plus. There are many other brands of chia out there as well. I don’t think I’ll be purchasing Salba anytime soon, but I am open to learning more about it.

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9 Comments on "Chia Seed vs Salba"

Dana Hanson
5 years 7 months ago

David Roberts can you tell me how to harvest chia and Salba? thank you so much for your help.
Sincerely Dana

Calvin James
5 years 8 months ago

I purchased a bag of chia as well as a bag of salba from a local health food store thinking that I would do the differentiating for myslf. My advice to all regarding salba vs. chia is….do your homework. The bag of chia contained traces of what appeared to be dirt and debris (not visible unless you really look hard). The container of salba did not contain any of these things. I contacted a rep. from salba and asked what their process was before packaging. She said that they use very sophisticated equipment that is able to sort out this type of debris and that it was absolutely necessary when packaging salba because it cannot be washed as the seeds would expand and become unusable. From my discovery of this “dirty chia”, this seems like a case of you get what you pay for.

Julia (Australia)
5 years 8 months ago

Wow, thanks so much dXm for your very informative post on Chia. I have only just discovered it here in Australia and have had it sitting in my pantry for a while, only to take it out and try it this morning at breakfast for the first time. After reading the label and getting VERY excitied over the health benefits of this product, I am wondering why on earth we have never heard of it?! Not that I am a great health foodie, but I do frequent health food shops and so forth.

I am VERY excited to use this product to sneak into my children’s diets – one of whom has Autism and is the most extreme of fussy eaters, making it near impossible to get any supplements/fish oil down..

My question is – how do you think this can help to improve his autism/memory and so forth. Yes, I know that is a way out question, it won’t fix his autism, but just wondering if you know of any studies? Do you have a website of your own, as I noticed you said of your interest Chia…

Many thanks

5 years 8 months ago

Hi about chia seeds & flax seeds both have lignans which is said to help fight cancer click my name for the info

6 years 3 months ago

David Roberts, I am interested in learning the growing and harvesting process of Salba. Thank you

Ralph G
6 years 4 months ago

David Roberts. Tell me all you know about planting and harvesting white salba. Thanks R

7 years 3 days ago

Thanks for the opinions and story. I went over to Leisure Guy’s blog based on your post and a few hours later I am back here. I actually read all the comments (crazy I know) but I wanted to know people’s experience with Salba as I am just wrapping up a September is Salba month on Evolving Wellness.

Having done the research on both, I just feel Salba is so much more scientifically justified – but that is my own opinion.

Ultimately people have to do their own research and decide for themselves.

Ruth S
7 years 1 month ago

Hello David,

I have just purchased Salba from North Star. It is the white seeded chia, I gather from reading this blog. I do not have diabetis, but have nasty IBS and there is a claim that these seeds will help with that too. Here’s hoping!

Thanks for the info. I will keep reading up on this.


7 years 1 month ago

My husband turned me on to Salba, and I will NEVER doubt him again. Salba is delicious.