Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is an annual summer crop that belongs to the Labiate family. Chia seeds are a rich source of nutrients like polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (PUFA), which safeguard against inflammation, improve performance and could be used for the enrichment of eggs and meat with omega-3 contents in poultry. These seeds are also rich in polyphenols, which can protect the body against cancer, aging and free radicals. Quercetin, chlorogenic acid, kaempferol, caffeic acid, and myricetin are reported as valuable sources of antioxidants in chia seed. It is believed that these seeds have antidepressant, anti-blood clotting, and hepato-protective features, along with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. They have a positive role in diabetes, dyslipidemia, antianxiety, hypertension and constipation in humans. Furthermore, it is a potential source of dietary fiber, which helps to support the gastrointestinal function. Chia seeds also have a high concentration of beneficial unsaturated fatty acids, phenolic compounds, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds contain a good balance of non-essential and essential amino acids. The addition of chia seed in poultry feed resulted in an increase of omega-3 fatty acids content in both eggs and meat. Moreover, it also offers advantages over other sources of PUFA for poultry feeding due to the absence of adverse effects on bird’s health. Chia seeds do not have any toxic compounds or anti-nutritional factors and have been added to poultry feed up to 30%, which proved it as a safe feed ingredient for poultry diets. However, further studies are required to explore its potential application as a promising feed additive, growth promoter and antioxidant for commercial poultry diets.
Keywords: Antioxidant, Feed additive, Nutritional value, Poultry, Salvia hispanica seed.