A tour through a Chia processing plant
After visiting yet another Chia processing plant here in Argentina, we realized not everyone would be familiar with the process of cleaning and packing Chia.
This particular plant is fairly standard for Argentina and not overly sophisticated. It can process approx. 40 metric tonnes of Chia per day with two work shifts. The process itself is not majorly labour intensive with very few manual processes.
The Chia is transported from the farm in big bags almost immediately after harvest, it stays on the farm for up to three days max and then it’s brought into the plant.
Quality checks are done at the farm before loading and also on the truck before unloading into the processing plant. If it’s accepted, it’s given a lot number and stored in the plant waiting for processing.
The product then goes through a pre sorter for removing larger things such as stones etc. , and if needed, a dryer to remove excess humidity, which is usually only an issue with organic produce.
The chia is then transported through a “clean” area of the factory where it goes through two more sorters that use vibration, weight and air to remove foreign bodies. Photo 11 shows some of the foreign bodies removed in the process.
The production lines unloads into big bags which are stored until required. Once an order is received, the big bags are taken a few meters to a small packing line where the chia is bagged into the 50lb bags, passed through a metal detector and then palletized ready for shipment.
Click here to learn about how TradeLink International handles the Chia after it leaves the processing plant