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.