The experts at Benexia say chia is one of those rare products that satisfies formulators, procurement decision makers and marketers.
Five years after the FDA and USDA identified Americans’ significant fiber gap as one of our country’s primary health issues, it appears we’re no closer to solving the problem. The average American consumes just 12g of fiber, less than half of the recommended 30-32g daily amount.
Lately, the ingredient experts at Benexia are busy talking with customers about chia powder because, at 56% fiber, this simple, natural and environmentally friendly solution is also cheaper than other options for bakery, snack and nutraceutical applications.
Gut health, fiber and immune health are big news
For years, nutritionists have sounded the alarm about fiber intake because fiber is vital for gut health, immune health, and is associated with the reduction of risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other medical issues. Highly fermentable fibers are especially important for their prebiotic benefits as well as their support of the colon, pancreas, nervous system and hormonal system.
“Many ingredient industry companies have taken this to heart. Open nearly any B2B newsletter and there’s a lot of noise about the necessity of quality soluble and insoluble fiber for your health,” confirms Sandra Gillot, CEO of Benexia, a leading chia seed ingredients producer. “There is significant interest in Benexia’s Xia Powder-435 LM because it is best positioned to help.”
Recognized by the FDA and worldwide as a dietary fiber, Xia Powder-435 LM also may be labeled as chia flour, chia fiber or defatted milled chia. Chia powder has soluble and insoluble fiber, plus protein and omega-3 Gillot explains that chia powder has a bright future because it uniquely is a blend of both insoluble (45%) and insoluble (11%) fibers. “It is a great way for consumers to achieve the recommended balance of 80% insoluble/20% soluble fiber.”
An in vitro study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, found that chia mucilage from its soluble fiber is fermented by the gut microbiota, an indication of its prebiotic benefits for immune and digestive health.
Unlike other fibers, Xia Powder-435 LM is also high in omega-3 (more than 5% ALA omega-3) and has more than 20% plant-based protein. It is also rich in the minerals potassium, phosphorus and calcium found naturally in chia. All while being low in sugar, sodium, saturated fat and TFA. It is also very low on the GI index and helps to reduce the GI value in finished products.
Problems solved! Why formulators are embracing chia powder
Gillot says that conversations with formulators about Benexia’s chia powder typically center around its simplicity.
“Not only does chia give you both types of fiber in a single ingredient, it’s 100% natural and gluten-free. And because it is not hydrolyzed, its viscosity reduces the need for emulsifiers and stabilizers,” explains Benexia Business Development Manager Remi Reguero.
He adds that some formulators are unnecessarily concerned that chia powder’s omega-3 content may make it unstable and give it an off flavor.
“While Xia Powder-435 LM has omega-3s, these are protected by fiber, proteins and high antioxidant capability naturally found in chia. It is stable and there is no aftertaste.”
These attributes result in higher quality finished products, ranging from smoothies to bars, cereals, syrups, fillings, breads, frozen bakery goods, brownies, snacks and pastas.
“We haven’t seen an application for which Xia Powder-435 LM cannot be used,” he comments.
Chia’s clean label and low environmental impact
Gillot points out that chia easily satisfies consumers’ growing preference for clean label and sustainability.
“Our flour is made by cold pressing the oil of the chia seed and concentrating its fibers,” she notes. “This process does not include additives, processing aid ingredients, solvents or enzymes. Xia Powder-435 LM also replaces fillers and binders. Marketers can pass this food transparency to the consumer.”
Benexia’s chia ingredient is also good for the environment.
“It has a low carbon footprint. It requires so little water that we don’t even use an irrigation system for our crops,” Gillot explains, adding, “Benexia has been a worldwide leader in chia production since 2000. Our fully integrated company adheres to responsible agricultural practices, and natural chemical-free processing with guaranteed zero waste. Benexia Xia Powder-435 LM is premium goodness without the premium expense.”
To learn more about formulating with Benexia Xia Powder-435 LM, visit www.benexia.com.