Dense structure of the chia seed which germinated in water for a week.
One the left is the chia seed which germinated in water for a week and on the right is a picture of a dry chia seed.
I use chia seeds on a regular basis for my smoothies, oatmeal and chia puddings. A week ago, I forgot to rinse my blender containing some chia seeds and water. After a few days, I noticed that the chia seeds not only 5 times increased in size and volume (as expected) but also started germinating.
I started wondering how could a single seed grow in just water? If it grows it means it has the necessary nutrients to do so, which makes me assume that the seed contains all the necessary components to grow itself, given it is immersed in water. Other than the development of the growing tail, I noticed the development of a protective membrane. At first touch, the membrane is slippery and has a gelatin texture. The seed is encapsulated in the membrane and it is pretty hard to break the membrane.
I thought it would be interesting to analyze the difference between the seed which has the protective membrane and a dry chia seed. The seed in water for a week revealed a really dense structure . It has many layers and seems complex. On the other hand, the dry seed looked flatter and seemed to have less layers compared to the seed which germinated. Is the membrane the cause of this difference? Or did the seed itself develop more layers? It is also interesting to notice that the membrane is polar so I am wondering if it can be used as a drug delivery method. Finally if I let the seed in water for more than a week, how many seeds can I get from one single chia seed? Will those seeds not need the sun to grow?