Quality of western Canadian mustard 2013

Harvest survey samples

This year’s survey included 308 samples, compared to 269 in 2012. The survey included 192 yellow, 73 brown and 43 oriental mustard samples. Overall, 67.2% of the samples came from Saskatchewan, followed by 31.5% from Alberta and 1.3% from Manitoba.

Producers, grain companies and elevators that routinely handle mustard seed submitted samples of mustard grown in 2013 to the Canadian Grain Commission. The individual samples were cleaned to remove dockage and graded by Canadian Grain Commission inspectors Chapter 12 of the Official Grain Grading Guide was used.

Oil, protein, and glucosinolate content was determined on all individual whole-seed samples using a FOSS NIRSystems 6500 scanning near infra-red spectrometer, which was calibrated to and verified against the appropriate listed reference methods. The reference procedures are listed under Oilseeds Methods.

Composite samples were analysed for oil, protein, glucosinolate and chlorophyll content, as well as for fatty acid composition. Composites were prepared by combining No. 1 mustard samples by province and type; and No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and Sample grades by western Canada and by type. Composites were also prepared for the most common mustard varieties.

Effects of weather on quality

The mustard crop grown in western Canada in 2013 showed the general characteristics of a crop maturing under cooler than normal conditions for the western prairies. The Grain Research Laboratory’s long-term harvest survey results show that cool growing conditions tend to produce an oilseed crop with higher oil but lower protein content. Research also shows that glucosinolate levels may decrease when Brassica crops are grown under cooler than normal conditions.