Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2012

Summary

The Canadian Grain Commission Harvest Survey of Western Canadian Flaxseed shows the 2012 crop to contain lower than average oil content and IV values and above average protein content when compared to the 2011 harvest and the 10 year means. 

When comparing to the 2011 harvest, the oil content is 0.8% lower at 45.1% and 0.3% lower than the 10 year mean.  Protein content is 0.9% higher than 2011 at 22.8% and similar to the 10 year average of 22.9%.  Iodine values for 2012 were at 190.7units, which is 1.8 units lower than the 2011 harvest and 0.61 units lower than the 10 year average. 

Environmental factors can play an important role in oil and protein content trends as well as fatty acid composition.  The GRL’s long-term harvest survey results have shown warm dry growing conditions tend to produce a flaxseed crop with lower oil contents and IV, but higher protein contents, which was illustrated with this year’s 2012 harvest.   

Table 1. Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western - Quality data for 2012 harvest survey
Quality parameter 2012 2011 2002-2011 Mean
Oil content1, % 45.1 45.9 45.4
Protein content2, % 22.8 21.9 22.9
Free fatty acids, % 0.2 0.20 0.19
Iodine value 190.7 192.5 191.3
Table 2. Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western - Fatty acid composition for 2012 harvest survey
Fatty acid3, % in oil 2012 2011 2002-2011 Mean
Palmitic acid (C16:0) 5.0 5.1 5.0
Stearic acid (C18:0) 3.4 3.4 3.4
Oleic acid (C18:1) 19.2 17.9 18.2
Linoleic acid (C18:2) 14.7 15.1 15.8
α-Linolenic acid (C18:3) 56.8 57.6 56.9

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Dry matter basis

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Footnote 2

N x 6.25; 8.5% moisture basis

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Footnote 3

Percentage of total fatty acids in the oil including palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2), and linolenic (C18:3)

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