SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North AmericaEU edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news

 

 

Chia and psyllium: Sterilization and adulteration show importance of choosing suppliers carefully

By Stephen DANIELLS , 07-Jul-2014

Chia and psyllium: Sterilization and adulteration show importance of choosing suppliers carefully

Recent pathogen outbreaks in raw chia powder and concerns over whether some psyllium is actually food grade highlight the ongoing importance of selecting suppliers wisely, says the CEO of BI Nutraceuticals.

A recent Salmonella outbreak linked to chia powder sickened more than 50 people across the US and Canada, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Speaking at the recent IFT event in New Orleans George Pontiakos said: “It’s mind-boggling that anyone is supplying chia to the consumer in an unsterilized manner. You’re taking a huge chance. There are so many good sterilization methodologies, and I just cannot imagine any kind of company with any type of marquee that would either offer it to the consumer as a retailer or sell it to a retailer unsterilized. It’s just totally unacceptable.”

The problem is significant, said Pontiakos, and companies have to subject chia to a kill step to kill the pathogens.

However, Pontiakos does not think that the headlines will damage the whole chia sector. “I think that some that proffer in the raw form have to take a look at what they are doing. Chia that is milled and put into a food product is very safe,” he said, “because it’s been through multiple kill steps.”

Indeed, the market for chia is going from strength to strength, with recent data from Mintel indicating that chia is being added to everything from bars to hot cereal. There has also been growing interest in the drinks aisle, with beverages accounting for 12% of new chia-based product launches in 2013, up from zero in 2009, according to the market researcher. 

In geographical terms, North America had the lion’s share of chia global launches in 2013, accounting for 59% of new product introductions featuring chia (meanwhile Innova Market Insights says the number of new launches globally featuring chia rose 52% in 2013).

Psyllium

85% of the psyllium coming into the country is feed grade, said Pontiakos. “There is a tremendous amount of adulterated and misrepresented product coming into the food market... You have to be very careful about who you buy from.” 

Related products

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Dr David Kennedy

director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre ,...

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US”

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US,” analyst says

Once considered boring by many Americans, water is becoming a go-to beverage of choice...

CV Sciences forges ahead with CBD development

CV Sciences forges ahead with CBD development despite regulatory uncertainties

Ground breaking CBD firm CV Sciences is seeking to shed the stigma of what...

Work on soil improvement leads to mineral ingredient for supplements

Work on soil improvement leads to mineral ingredient for supplements

Work in organic agriculture led Mineral Biosciences to the development of a “fossil mineral”...

NOW Foods CEO: Transparency is key facet of brand equity

NOW Foods CEO: Transparency is key facet of brand equity

Transparency has become a watchword among dietary supplement companies. Jim Emme, president of NOW...

The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

Interest in adaptogenic herbs is increasing, but how does industry communicate the benefits to...

Turmeric, matcha & mushroom among specialty teas driving sales

Turmeric, matcha & mushroom among specialty teas that are engaging Millennials and driving sales

Sales of tea in the US continue to climb steadily, thanks in part to...

FDA should focus on tainted products, GMPs, NDIs

FDA’s new dietary supplement office should focus on tainted products, GMPs & NDIs, industry leaders say

With the recent elevation of dietary supplement oversight from a division to its own...

How should mainstream retailers merchandise 'natural' foods?

How should mainstream retailers merchandise 'natural' foods?

How best to merchandise 'natural' foods? For some mainstream food retailers, a store within...

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

Rhythm Health believes its coconut-based kefir beverages and snacks can be the ‘natural successor’...

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

A paradigm shift is needed to force delicate women’s health issues like vaginal infections...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

Professor Gregor Reid

Chair , University of Western Ontario & Human Microbiology and...

UK researcher backs supplements for omega-3 intakes

UK researcher backs supplements for boosting omega-3 intakes

Philip Calder

Professor, University of Southamption

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’ Expert warns wannabes

Beverage brand development guru James Tonkin has warned wannabe entrepreneurs that going up against...

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher, Loughborough University

Caffeine in small doses and during training may boost performance

Caffeine taken during training and even in small doses may boost sports performance: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher in exercise metabolism and performance nutrition

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Professor John Cryan

Chair and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience,...

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel...