The European Food Safety Authority has raised concern about the use of chia seed and ground whole chia seed as a novel food ingredient in bread.

In an assessment, it said that while there was no evidence of adverse effects based on data from market authorisation applicant R Craig & Sons Ltd, of Northern Ireland, “there are uncertainties with regard to the potential allergenicity of chia”. It added there was a risk chia might include “constituents which might exert anti-nutritional or toxic effects”.

Concluding “adequate toxicological information on chia seed is not available”, it said chia’s safety “cannot be established from the available information”.