white chia seeds

what is the difference between white and black chia seeds


Both seeds are a Salvia Hispanica L. variety and both are very close in nutrition. Roughly speaking, there is no difference between the seeds other than in color. For complete information on nutrition fact check here. However, white seeds have a bit more protein and milder flavor while the black is thought to contain more antioxidants but this is not widely supported. Either way, chia is a very nutritious food, black or white. To be more exact:


Nutrition facts 1oz

Black chia seeds

White chia seeds











So black and white seeds are practically identical.

The reason why some people prefer white seeds is for esthetical purposes. Maybe some recipe looks better with white seeds then with black seeds.


In South East Asia importers have a preference for white seeds since they mostly always extract oil from the seeds and oil from black seeds is just not the market. The same is true for sesame seeds by the way. It is the same, but the market is used to oil from white seeds.


If only the white seeds are planted outcome will be only white chia and planting black will only produce black seeds. The fact that ‘black chia seeds’ always contain some percentage 5-8% of white seeds, it means that on the farm there were not completely black crops planted. Large farms and exporters such as chia-direct.com have an optical selection machine which they use to select the seeds for seeding. But even so, production does not result in 100% white seeds since natural contamination takes place (wind blows seeds from other sites).


A possible difference between black and white seeds if any is much more related to the growing area and the climate difference. For perfect nutrition facts it is essential that the seeds fully mature. Immature seeds are yellow or brown and contain less minerals, proteins vitamins and omega-3. This is true for both white and black seeds. The more yellow/ brown or broken seeds the lower the quality. Lower quality means less minerals, proteins vitamins and omega-3.


Some exporters confuse the concept of quality with the concept of purity.

Purity solely refers to the existence of foreign elements such as weeds, leaves, particles from the crop itself, other seeds, whatever which is not chia seed itself. Purity therefore does not refer to the extend of yellow/ brown or broken seeds. More on quality chia seeds



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