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Super-Food Chia May Be Next Super-Ingredient In Baking Industry

May 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The gel produced by chia seeds when placed in water could be used in food formulation as a thickening agent, emulsifying agent, and as a stabilizer in frozen food product, a new Australian study has found. Chia, an ancient crop cultivated by the Aztecs in Mexico, is high in fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia gel is a polysaccharide consisting of crude fiber (58 percent) and carbohydrate (34 percent). with good water binding and oil-holding capacity, viscosity, emulsion activity and freeze-thaw ability comparable to guar gum and gelatin, common ingredients in baked goods and sauces.
Ranil Coorey et al., "Gelling Properties of Chia Seed and Flour. ", Journal of Food Science, May 28, 2014, © Institute of Food Technologists
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