Chia seeds occupy a special place in Berrico’s product range, just like rhubarb. We are of course specialised in berries and other fruits. However we sometimes deviate from this if our customers appear to have a demand for a particular product. In that case, we add the product to our range – after all, Berrico is a service provider through and through. We also like to define ourselves as a niche player. This means that we search for products that are ignored by the larger companies and that allow us to use our product knowledge optimally. Chia seeds are a good example of this type of product. It also fits in our line of ‘super foods’, alongside goji berry, mulberry and of course the cranberry.
Chia seeds are derived from an annual plant from the deadnettle family (Lamiaceae). This family also includes well-known kitchen herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, mint and peppermint. Chia seeds are oval and small, with a diameter of about 1 millimetre. The black-and-white seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, they have a high content of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The chia plant, Salva hispanica, originates from central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, where it had already been discovered by the Aztecs before Columbus set foot in America. Chia seeds are still eaten in these countries, but are also becoming more popular in Europe. It is, by now, considered a superfood.
The Aztecs called chia seeds ‘running food’. They truly believed that eating these seeds gave a person more energy and stamina. For this reason, Aztec warriors were given these seeds to eat on the eve of a battle or other heavy exertions. Similarly, the Tarahumara, native people from northern Mexico known for their stamina and long-distance running prowess, are thought to have drunk water with chia seeds before embarking on a journey. This was to prevent dehydration and to boost their resistance (see Stories for this and other stories).
We supply dried chia seeds, both organic and conventional.