Background: Chia seed is not a new food for humanity. The seed has been used in many
different areas since the Aztecs, especially the food items. The chia seed is -becoming increasingly
important because of its nutritional and functional properties and it is described as “the seed of the
21st century” and “new gold and super nutrient”.
Objective: In this review, general characteristics, nutritional composition, fields of usage, effects on
health and importance in human nutrition of the chia seed have been evaluated.
Conclusion: This seed is shown as an important source of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble), omega-
3 fatty acids, proteins, bioactive and polyphenolic compounds. It also has many physicochemical
and functional properties that make it more suitable for the food industry. Chia seed is a good thickener,
gel forming and chelating agent, foam enhancer, emulsifier, suspending agent and rehydration factor.
Foods such as frozen products, bakery products, beverages, sweets, pasta, and sausages can be enriched
with seeds and chia oil can be used as fat replacer for these products. Some studies have shown
that consumption of the seed is beneficial for health problems such as dyslipidemia, inflammation,
cardiovascular diseases and insulin resistance. However, the results of studies demonstrating the effect
of the seeds on diseases have been controversial and many of the studies on this subject are animal
studies. There is a need for further studies to reveal the effects of chia seed on human health and its
importance in the food industry.