Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2020

Free fatty acids content and fatty acid composition

Free fatty acids content

Average free fatty acids content (0.16%) in Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western is slightly lower than the average in 2019 (0.19%) and10-year mean (0.18%; Figure 4). The average in Manitoba (0.18%) and Alberta (0.18%) was higher than the average in Saskatchewan (0.15%; Table 5). Samples that graded No. 2 and No. 3 Canada Western, however, had an average free fatty acid content of 0.35%.

Figure 4 – Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western
Free fatty acids content of harvest samples, 2010 to 2020

Free fatty acids content of harvest samples, Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, 2010 to 2020
2020 average 0.16%
2019 average 0.19%
2010–19 mean 0.17%
  • Figure 4 details
    Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, Free fatty acids content of harvest samples, 2010 to 2020
    2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2010 to 2019
    Free fatty acids content in oil (FFA, %) 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.13 0.16 0.19 0.19 0.18 0.15 0.19 0.16 0.17

Fatty acid composition

Average α-linolenic acid (C18:3) content (55.8%) in Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western was lower than the 2019 average (58.8 %) and the 10-year mean (57.4%; Figure 5).

The average iodine value of oil from Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western samples is 189.0 units. The 2020 iodine value was lower than in 2019 (194.9) and the 10-year mean (192.1 units; Figure 6). Iodine values for Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western samples from producers across western Canada varied from 173.5 to 201.6 units.

Similar to the relationship of oil content and environmental conditions, α-linolenic acid and iodine values tend to increase as temperatures decrease and when soil moisture conditions are adequate.

Figure 5 – Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western
Percent α-Linolenic acid content of harvest samples, 2010 to 2020

Percent α-Linolenic acid content of Flaxseed, No.1 Canada harvest samples, 2010 to 2020
2020 average 55.8%
2019 average 58.8%
2010–19 mean 57.4%
  • Figure 5 details
    Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, Percent α-Linolenic acid content of harvest samples, 2010 to 2020
    2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2010 to 2019
    α-Linolenic acid in oil (FFA, %) 58.8 57.6 56.8 56.0 57.9 57.2 57.8 57.7 55.9 58.8 55.8 57.4

Figure 6 – Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western
Iodine value of harvest sample, 2010 to 2020

Iodine value of harvest sample of Flaxseed, No.1 Canada harvest samples, 2010 to 2020
2020 average 189.0
2019 average 194.9
2010–19 mean 192.1
  • Figure 6 details
    Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, Iodine value of harvest sample, 2010 to 2020
    2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2010 to 2019
    Iodine value (units) 194.6 192.5 190.7 189.9 192.9 191.5 192.2 192.5 189.7 194.9 189.0 192.1
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