Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2020

Harvest samples

Flaxseed samples from the Harvest Sample Program are cleaned to remove dockage prior to testing. Individual samples are analyzed for oil content, protein content and iodine values using a Foss NIR Systems 6500 scanning near-infrared spectrometer, calibrated to and verified against the appropriate reference methods. Composite samples are used for more precise and detailed analyses that includes free fatty acids and fatty acid composition analyses. Composites are prepared by combining brown seeded flax samples by province for Flaxseed, No.1 Canada Western. Composites of Flaxseed, No. 2 Canada Western, Flaxseed, No. 3 Canada Western and Sample grade combined all the samples from western Canada rather than by province.

This year's harvest report includes 276 brown flax samples compared to 237 in 2019. Manitoba contributed 39 samples of Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, Saskatchewan 198 samples and Alberta 31 samples. There were six samples graded as Flaxseed, No. 2 Canada Western, one as No. 3 Canada Western and one as Sample.

The Canadian Grain Commission in 2020 received 14 samples of yellow flaxseed, compared to seven samples in 2019. Of the 14 samples, two were Sample grade and the remaining 12 samples were graded as Flaxseed, No. 1, Canada Western. The yellow flaxseed oil and protein content was 46.4% and 23.7%, respectively. The average free fatty acids in this year’s yellow flax composite was 0.21%, while average α-linolenic acid (C18:3) content and iodine value was 61.4% and 198.5 units, respectively.

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