Chia Seed vs Salba

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"

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

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… Read more »
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… Read more »

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

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

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

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.

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.


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