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poppy seeds

Growing Regions: Poppy seeds have been known to be cultivated as far back as 1500BC and are mentioned in many ancient medical texts. Today they are grown mainly in continental Europe. Czech republic, Turkey and Spain are the world’s top producers.

Variations: Poppy seeds come in many different colours, slate-blue, black, white and grey, they are also milled and pressed in to a oil.

Uses: Poppy seeds are widely used in cuisine. Their uses range from muffin and bagel toppings in western diet to traditional deserts in Eastern Europe

EFSA accredited claims: Source of Protein, high in: Fibre, Omega 3 ALA, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron and Potassium.

Availability: Organic

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Growing Regions: Originally native to the area now know as Guatemala and Mexico, Chia has also been successfully cultivated in many regions in South America. More recently it has been found to be a good fit with areas of Uganda and Australia.

Variations: Chia seed was commercialised in two forms black and white seed with no discernable nutritional difference between the two.

Uses: Chia is seed is used in variety of ways, in bread, drinks, yogurts, milled, as a topping.

EFSA accredited claims: Source of Protein, high in: Fibre, Omega 3 ALA, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron and Potassium.

Availability: Organic, Conventional, white/black, milled/whole/oil 

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sunflower seeds

Growing Regions: Ukraine and Russia dominate sunflower seed production with over 50% of the world output come from these two countries alone. Other notable growing regions are Romania, Argentina and China.

Variations: Sunflowers seeds come two forms with their shell intact or dehulled. The shelled seed comes in two variations, solid black oil sunflower seeds which are pressed for their oil and one which has a white stripe, known as confectionary sunflower seeds, these are generally kept for food. Hulled seeds or sunflower kernels are most commonly used in commercial food production.

Uses: With hulls are pressed for oil or roasted and eaten as a snack, hulled are used in breads, bars, milled and used as topping product, mixed through salads and breakfasts.

EFSA accredited claims: Source of Protein, High in Vitamins B1, B3, B6 and E.

Availability: Organic, Hulled, Whole

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Growing Regions: Flax is an ancient crop, first cultivated 10,000 years ago and widely consumed throughout Europe 5,000 years ago.  Today Canada is the top producer of Flax followed by China, Russia and India. It can also be grown successfully in closer to home in Ireland and the UK.

Variations: Flax seed are generally available in two forms, brown and yellow (or golden).

Uses: Flax is generally known for its high short chain fatty acid content; because of this it is widely available as Omega 3 rich, oil (flax or linseed oil). It also consumed whole, roasted, as part of a seed topping and milled.


EFSA accredited claims: Source of Protein, High in: Fibre, Omega 3 ALA , Vitamins B1, B6 and minerals Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc and Iron.

Availability: Brown/yellow, Organic, Whole

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sesame seeds

Growing Regions: Sesame seed production has increased considerably in the last two decades. It’s top producing countries are India, Chia and  Nigeria.

Variations: Sesame seeds can grow in a number of colours, White however, outside of Asia they are generally available in an off-white colour.  After harvest they can be left natural or hulled.

Uses: Sesame is generally used in the bakery industry, being used on crackers, breads and biscuits. It’s oil is also extremely popular in Asian cooking and it is also the main component in tahini paste, an ingredient used in hummus.

EFSA accredited claims: High in: Fibre, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

White, natural/hulled

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hemp seeds

Growing Regions: Hemp was is originally from the Northern Hemisphere, today the France is the top grower with almost 70% the output.

Variations: Seeds available as is or more often hulled and ready to consume.

Uses: Hemp seeds are generally eaten raw, milled or sprouted. Hemp is available in a wide range of health food products, mainly added due to their high “complete” protein content.


EFSA accredited claims: High in: protein, Vitamins B1 and B6 as well as minerals Iron, Magnesium, Manganese and Phosphorous.

Availability: Hulled

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pumpkin seeds

Growing Regions: Pumpkin seed originates from Mexico where it was domesticated up to 10,000 years ago. Today pumpkins are produced throughout the world, the top growing areas are India, China, Russia, Iran, the US, Canada and Egypt and Mexico.

Variations: Pumpkin  seed is generally available in three forms, designated by it’s shell or lack of, snow white (white shell), Shine skin (shiny green shell) and hulled (grown without a shell.

Uses: Pumpkin seeds are usually consumed roasted, on their own, or with nuts and other seeds as a snack. They are also used for their oil, a culinary specialty in Central European cuisine.

EFSA accredited claims: High Fibre, Protein and minerals Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Zinc.

Availability: White, natural/hulled

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