Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2020

Introduction

This report presents quality data and information based on samples of western Canadian flaxseed from the Canadian Grain Commission’s 2020 Harvest Sample Program. The quality data includes oil, protein, free fatty acids, fatty acid composition and iodine values of harvest samples submitted to the Grain Research Laboratory. Producers and grain companies submitted the samples throughout the harvest period. A map of the three Prairie provinces in Figure 1 illustrates the traditional growing areas of flaxseed in western Canada.

Figure 1 - Traditional flaxseed growing areas within the three Prairie provinces

Traditional growing areas of flaxseed in Canadian Prairie provinces.

Source: Flax Council of Canada

Summary

The samples of western Canadian flaxseed the Canadian Grain Commission received though the Harvest Sample Program show that the 2020 crop contains lower oil content, similar protein content and lower iodine values when compared to the 2019 harvest.

Data for brown flaxseed graded No. 1 is presented in Table 1. Mean oil content is 45.6%, which is lower than the 2019 mean (46.7%) and similar to the 10-year mean (45.7%). Mean protein content is 23.0%, which is similar to the 2019 mean (22.6%) but higher than the 10-year mean (22.1%). This year’s iodine value is 189.0 units, which is lower than both the 2019 value (194.9 units) and 10-year mean (192.1 units). Oil and protein values are reported on a dry matter basis.

Table 1 – Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western
Quality data for 2020 harvest
Quality parameter 2020 2019 2010 to 2019 Mean
Oil contentFootnote1, % 45.6 46.7 45.7
Protein contentFootnote2, % 23.0 22.6 22.1
Free fatty acids, % 0.16 0.20 0.20
Iodine value 189.0 194.9 192.1
Table 2 – Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western
Main fatty acid composition for 2020 harvest
Fatty acidFootnote3, % in oil 2020 2019 2010 to 2019 Mean
Palmitic acid (C16:0) 5.3 5.0 5.1
Stearic acid (C18:0) 3.7 3.3 3.4
Oleic acid (C18:1) 18.7 16.5 18.1
Linoleic acid (C18:2) 15.5 15.5 15.3
α-Linolenic acid(C18:3) 55.8 58.8 57.4
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