Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2013
Fatty acid composition
Average alpha-linolenic acid content (56.0%) in Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western is lower the average in 2012 (56.8%) and slightly lower than the 10-year mean (56.7%) (Figure 5).
Compared to 2012, the average alpha-linolenic acid content for Manitoba is higher (a difference of 1.1%); lower for Saskatchewan (a difference of 1.3%); and higher for Alberta (a difference of 1.1%) (Table 5). Values in samples of Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western from producers across western Canada ranged from 48.8% to 63.0%.
The average iodine value of the oil from samples of Flaxseed, No.1 Canada Western is 189.7 units. Iodine value is a measure of the total degree of unsaturation of the oil and, in flaxseed, is heavily influenced by the linolenic acid content of the oil. Iodine value is 1 unit lower than the 2012 average and the 10-year mean of 190.9 units (Figure 6). Average iodine value increased in Manitoba and Alberta by 1.4 units, whereas in Saskatchewan it decreased by 2 units. Values in samples of Flaxseed, No.1 Canada Western from producers across western Canada varied in iodine value from 179 to 201units.
Usually oils with iodine values greater than 188 units are desired by the coatings industry for products such as paints, varnishes and inks, while oils with iodine values around 183 units are preferred by the linoleum industry. Iodine value, like oil content, is influenced by temperatures during the growing season and length of photoperiod.
Figure 5. Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, Percent α-Linolenic acid content of harvest survey samples, 2003–2013
- 2013 average: 56.0%
- 2012 average: 56.8%
- 2003–2012 mean: 56.7%
The table below displays the percentage α-linolenic acid content from 2003 to 2013 which is illustrated in the graph.
|Crop year||α-linolenic acid content, %|
Figure 6. Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western, Iodine value of harvest survey samples, 2003–2013
- 2013 average: 189.7%
- 2012 average: 190.7%
- 2003–2012 mean: 190.9%
The table below displays the percentage iodine value from 2003 to 2013 which is illustrated in the graph.
|Crop year||Iodine value, Units|
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