Whole Chia Seed: Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25 to 30% extractable oil, including a-linoleic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. It is important to purchase fully mature chia seeds and seeds that have been properly cleaned. The seeds are hydrophilic, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked. While soaking, the seeds develop a mucilaginous gel-like coating that gives chia-based beverages a distinctive texture.
Micro Milled Chia Seed: This is 100% seed and is processed to contain all the proteins, vitamins and minerals as well as all the omega-3 oil in the milled seed. Be careful, as other companies may use other seeds and other by-product. Use only 100% micro milled chia seed. Consuming the Chia through in this form is the most efficient way for your body to process the nutrition in the Chia seeds.
When properly processed, micro milled chia seed retains all the oil content, proteins, vitamins and minerals and fiber of the whole seed. This milling process is perfect for food manufacturers desiring to use chia in their recipes and formulations. For people who love to cook at home this is the preferred method to cook with and store chia.
De-Fatted Chia Flour: This is a 50 to 80 mesh material that is used for baking purposes and other food items that require a high protein, high fiber filler or binding agent. Typically this type of Chia flour is lower in omega-3 oil content as the process for refining the seed into such a fine powder requires the removal of the majority of the seed's oil.
Chia Oil: This is the 100% pure oil that is extracted from the chia seed. Chia oil has some the highest level of omega-3 fatty acids on earth.