Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2015

Fatty acid composition

Average alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3) content (57.2%) in Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western is slightly lower than the average in 2014 (57.9%) but higher than the 10-year mean (56.7%) (Figure 5).

The average iodine value of the oil from Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western samples is 191.5 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. The 2015 iodine value is 1.4 units lower than in 2014 and 0.5 units higher than the 10-year mean of 191.0 units (Figure 6). Iodine values for Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western samples from producers across western Canada varied from 176 to 203 units.

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 growing temperatures and length of photoperiod.

Figure 5. Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western – Percent α-Linolenic acid content of harvest samples, 2005–15

Graph of α-linolenic acid content (%) in oil for flaxseed, 2005–15. Details below.

Details
  • 2015 average: 57.2%
  • 2014 average: 57.9%
  • 2005–14 mean: 56.7%

The table below displays the percentage α-linolenic acid content from 2005 to 2015, which is illustrated in the graph.

Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western - Percent α-linolenic acid content of harvest samples, 2005–15
Crop year α-linolenic acid content, %
2005 57.6
2006 55.7
2007 52.1
2008 56.2
2009 58.0
2010 58.8
2011 57.6
2012 56.8
2013 50.0
2014 57.9
2015 57.2

Figure 6. Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western – Iodine value of harvest samples, 2005–15

Graph of iodine value (units) for flaxseed, 2005–15. Details below.

Details
  • 2015 average: 191.5%
  • 2014 average: 192.9%
  • 2005–15 mean: 191.0%

The table below displays iodine values in units from 2005 to 2015, which is illustrated in the graph.

Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western - Iodine value of harvest samples, 2005–15
Crop year Iodine value, Units
2005 193.4
2006 189.6
2007 182.3
2008 189.5
2009 193.4
2010 194.6
2011 192.5
2012 190.7
2013 189.9
2014 192.9
2015 191.5