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Flaxseed, or linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.), comes from the flax plant, which is an annual herb. The ancient Egyptians used flaxseed as both food and medicine. The Latin name of flaxseed (Linum usi-tatissimum L.) means " very useful " , and it has two basic varieties: brown and yellow or golden (also known as golden linseeds). This review highlights the potential of 'flax seed' as a 'neutraceutical' and its role as a protective and therapeutic medicinal food.
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Volume : 6 | Issue : 1 | JANUARY 2016 | ISSN - 2249-555X
ReseaRch PaPeR
Health Benefits and Nutritional Value of Flaxseed- a
Sadia Chishty Monika
Research Scholar, Department of Home Science,
University of Rajasthan, Rajasthan
Research Scholar, Department of Home Science,
University of Rajasthan, Rajasthan
Home Science
Flaxseed, Benefits, omega-3 fatty acids, cardiovascular disease
ABSTRACT Flaxseed, or linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.), comes from the flax plant, which is an annual herb. The
ancient Egyptians used flaxseed as both food and medicine. The Latin name of flaxseed (Linum usi-
tatissimum L.) means “very useful”, and it has two basic varieties: brown and yellow or golden (also known as golden
linseeds). This review highlights the potential of ‘flax seed’ as a ‘neutraceutical’ and its role as a protective and thera-
peutic medicinal food.
Flaxseed is one of the most important oilseed crops for in-
dustrial as well as food, feed, and fiber purposes. Almost
every part of the flaxseed plant is utilized commercially,
either directly or after processing. The stem yields good
quality fiber having high strength and durability. The seed
provides oil rich in omega-3, digestible proteins, and lig-
nans. In addition to being one of the richest sources of
α-linolenic acid oil and lignans, flaxseed is an essential
source of high quality protein and soluble fiber and has
considerable potential as a source of phenolic compounds.
Flaxseed is emerging as an important functional food in-
gredient because of its rich contents of α-linolenic acid
(ALA), lignans, and fiber. Lignans appear to be anti-carci-
nogenic compounds. The omega-3s and lignan phytoestro-
gens of flaxseed are in focus for their benefits for a wide
range of health conditions and may possess chemo-protec-
tive properties in animals and humans.
Materials and methods
The data presented in the review paper were collected us-
ing all scientific data come from articles, journals and web-
sites such as Google scholar, Scopus and Puvmed.
Cullnary Uses of Flax seed
Flaxseed meal is gluten free and has a pleasant nutty fla-
vour. The protein content, combined with the gelling/bind-
ing properties of the soluble fiber found in flaxseed meal,
make it ideal for incorporating into gluten free baked
goods, or as a gluten free thickening agent.
One tablespoon of flaxseed meal combined with three ta-
blespoons of water and allowed to gel can even be used
as a substitute for an egg in baked goods. The flake is
quite good combined with hot or cold breakfast cereals in
the morning and is a good source of fiber.
Applications as a dietary supplement
• Isolatedencapsulated lignansupplements.
• Fiber supplementation (bulk laxative with a demulcent
• Asa componentof proteinpowderblends.
Applications as a food ingredient
• Breads and other baked goods such as cookies and
muffins including gluten free products. The incorpo-
ration into bread results in an improved texture and
crumb structure.
• Healthy functionalsnack foodssuch ashighproteinen-
ergy bars.
Nutrient in Flaxseed
Table 1. -Nutritional value of Flaxseed
Quantity Per
Serving(5 gm) Quantity Per Serv-
ing(100 gm)
Energy 82kj 1635 kj
Protein 1.6g 32g
Total Fat 0.5g 10g
Saturated 0.02g 0.4g
Monounsaturated 0.08g 1.5g
Polyunsaturated 0.35g 7g
Omega 3(ALA) 0.25g 5g
Total Carbohydrate 2.18g 43.6g
Sugar 0.07g 1.4g
Dietary fibre 1.95g 39g
Soluble fibre 0.4g 8g
Insoluble fibre 1.55g 31g
Lignans 25-50mg. 500-1000mg
Typical chemical analysis of flaxseed fibre. Data averaged
from analyses undertaken by an independent NZ labora-
Omega-3 fatty acids
There is an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the
human diet. Oils such as flaxseed, walnut, and canola help
to maintain this balance. Whilst it is true that very little
ALA converts to the long chain polyunsaturated omega-3
found in marine oils, it does have
beneficial effects itself. The benefits of ALA are seen at in-
takes as low as 1g/day and 2g/day is recommended for a
cardio protective effect.
Researchers are investigating whether omega-3 fatty ac-
ids contained in flaxseed may help protect against certain
infections and in treating conditions including ulcers, mi-
graine headaches, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder,
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eating disorders, preterm labor, emphysema, psoriasis,
glaucoma, Lyme disease, lupus, and panic attacks
The amino acid pattern of flax protein is similar to that of
soybean protein, which is viewed as one of the most nu-
tritious of the plant proteins. Like all vegetables, flaxseed
proteins have techno-functional properties that affect their
behaviour in a food system through interaction with other
These properties are mainly dependent on their hydration
mechanisms for solubility and water⁄oil retention capacity.
The amino acid pattern of flax protein is similar to that of
soybean protein, which is viewed as one of the most nu-
tritious of the plant proteins. Flaxseed grain and flaxseed
paste contain about 21% and 34% protein respectively
and may varies with the genetic and environmental fac-
tors. Cool climates usually result in high oil and low pro-
tein content in the seeds. Flaxseed has two major stor-
age proteins, a predominant salt soluble fraction with high
molecular weight (11-12S; globulin; 18.6 % nitrogen) and a
water soluble basic component with low molecular weight
(1.6- 2S; albumin; 17.7 % nitrogen) .
Dietary fiber
Flaxseed meal is high in fibre, a significant amount of
which is soluble (20%), in the form of gums and mucilages.
In addition to accounting for the laxative effect of flaxmeal,
soluble fibre is known to have potent cholesterol lowering
qualities, therefore reducing a major risk factor for cardio-
vascular disease. In Canada, where a great deal of research
has been carried out, there is now an approved health
claim for the use of ground flaxseed to lower cholesterol.
Insoluble dietary fibre reduces insulin resistance, is useful
in treating constipation and helps maintain overall bowel
health. Increased stool bulk, normalised bowel transit time,
healthy gut flora, and production of short-chain fatty acids
such as butyrate are all positive effects on the bowel of a
high fibre diet. Low fibre diets are associated with many
chronic diseases including inflammatory bowel disease,
heart disease, obesity, diabetes and colorectal cancer. The
fibre content of flaxmeal makes it an ideal addition to a
balanced diet aimed at reducing the risk of these chronic
Flax is low in carbohydrates (sugars and starches), provid-
ing only 1 gram (g) per 100 g. For this reason, flax contrib-
utes little to total carbohydrate intake; it’s recommended
for people with specific deseases. Flaxseed polysaccharide
is composed of two major fractions: a neutral arabinoxylan
(75%) and an acidic rhamnogalacturonan (25%). The ara-
binoxylan is composed mainly of xylose, arabinose, and
galactose and the rhamnogalacturonan consists of L-rham-
nose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic and L-fucose acid. Con-
siderable and significant variations exist in monosaccharide
composition, carbohydrate yield and quality among acces-
sions from the world collection of flaxseed .
Health benefits
Flaxseed is well-known for the content of chemical com-
pounds with specific biological activity and functional
properties: polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) omega-3
family, soluble dietary fibers, lignans, proteins and carbohy-
drates. However,it is constituted by few levels of adverse
health compounds such as Cadmium, protease inhibitors
and cyanogenic compounds
Flaxseed and Cancer
Ground flax seeds have been studied for its effect on can-
cer, including several excellent studies by Lilian Thomp-
son’s research group at the University of Toronto. In one
study the flax seed, its lignan fraction, or the oil were add-
ed to the diet of mice who had previously been admin-
istered a chemical carcinogen to induce cancer. All three
treatments reduced the established tumor load; the lignan
fraction containing secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG)
and the flax seed also reduced metastasis. In another
study the flax lignan SDG was fed to mice starting 1 week
after treatment with the carcinogen dimethylbenzanthra-
cene. The number of tumors per rat was reduced by 46%
compared to the control in this study. Flax or its lignan
(SDG) were tested to see if they would prevent melanoma
metastasis. The flax or lignan fraction were fed to mice two
weeks before and after injection of melanoma cells. The
flax treatment (at 2.5, 5, or 10% of diet intake) resulted in
a 32, 54, and 63 percent reduction in the number of tu-
mors, compared to the control. The SDG, fed at amounts
equivalent to the amount in 2.5, 5, or 10% flax seed, also
reduced the tumor number, from a median number of 62
in the control group to 38, 36, and 29 tumors per mouse
in the SDG groups, respectively.
Flaxseed and Heart Disease
Flaxseed has recently gained attention in the area of
cardiovascular disease primarily because it is the rich-
est known source of both alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
and the phytoestrogen, lignans, as well as being a
good source of soluble ber. Human studies have
shown that flaxseed can modestly reduce serum to-
tal and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentra-
tions, reduce postprandial glucose absorption, decrease
some markers of inflammation, and raise serum levels
of the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and eicosapentaeno-
ic acid. Data on the antiplatelet, antioxidant, and hypo-
tensive effects of flaxseed, however, are inconclusive.
Partially defatted flaxseed reduced total cholesterol (4.6 ±
1.2%; P = 0.001), LDL cholesterol (7.6 ± 1.8%; P < 0.001),
apolipoprotein B (5.4 ± 1.4%; P = 0.001) and apolipopro-
tein A-I (5.8 ± 1.9%; P = 0.005), but had no effect on se-
rum lipoprotein ratios. There were no significant effects on
serum HDL cholesterol, serum protein carbonyl content,
or ex vivo androgen or progestin activity. Unexpectedly,
serum proteinthiol groups were significantly lower (10.8 ±
3.6%; P = 0.007) suggesting increased oxidation. Dietary
flaxseed has been shown to have potent antiatherogenic
effects in rabbits. When LDL receptor deficient mice (LD-
LrKO) were administered a 10% flaxseed-supplemented
diet for 24w, a reduction of circulating cholesterol levels
was observed indicating the anti-atherogenic effect of flax
Flaxseed and Menopause
Competition of lignans with estrogen for receptor sites
causes dual effects. Considering that lignan possesses a
weak hormonal action, during phases of life when there
is a large production of estrogen, the chronic ingestion
of flaxseed may exert an antiestrogenic action because it
competes with estrogen for the same receptors. By means
of this mechanism, flaxseed may protect women with risk
of cancer by decreasing hormonal signalization involved in
the beginning of tumor development Consuming lignans
may lower the risk of endometrial cancer in post-meno-
pausal women, and it might also help reduce the severity
of osteoporosis. Dew et al. 2013 sistematic review con-
trolled flax interventions on menopausal symptoms and
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bone health in premenopausal and postmenopausal wom-
en. The majority of studies considered suggested that flax
consumption alters circulating sex hormones and increased
the urinary 2α-hydroxyestrone/16α-hydroxyestrone ratio as-
sociated with a lower risk of breast cancer. However, few
studies considered bone mineral density or markers of
bone turnover; more investigation needed to confirm influ-
ence of flax lignan intake on postmenopausal bone mineral
Flaxseed has many health benefits as well as rich of nutri-
ents. In fact the content Fiber, proteins, Amino acids, vi-
tamin E and lignans present in flaxseed satisfy basic needs
in the human diet. Flaxseed also has healthy properties
that prevent from cardiovascular disease, problems related
to menopausal and many more disease
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... The Latin name of flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) means very useful. Linseed has two varieties such as brown and yellow varieties (Chishty and Monika, 2016). ...
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In the present scenario, the DNA markers become the marker of choice for the plant genetic analysis. At current year, different types of molecular markers are available and the selection of using specific type of marker depends on the user. Molecular markers are certain DNA sequences found at particular locations on genome and transmitted from one generation to the next by the standard laws of inheritance. Molecular markers are specific fragments of DNA are located at specific position of the genome which shows polymorphism between dissimilar individuals. They arise from mutations such as point mutations, insertions or deletions. These markers are selectively neutral because they are also positioned in non-coding regions of DNA so it phenotypically neutral. Molecular markers are the most widely used than morphological and biochemical markers due to their abundance. Molecular markers used in crop improvement for various purposes such as assessment of genetic diversity, genotyping, identification of quantitative-trait loci (QTLs), gene cloning, cultivar analysis, marker assisted selection (MAS), phylogenetic study, identification of disease resistance genes and linkage map, etc. This review article provides importance of different types of molecular markers such as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), intersimple sequence repeats (ISSRs), simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in linseed genome study for several diverse applications including germplasm characterization, QTL mapping and gene mapping, etc.
... Therefore, there is a need on the market for innovative products that meet the nutritional requirements of consumers. Some authors suggest that diet supplementation with flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) offers potential health benefits in cases like cardiovascular risk, severe hyperlipidemia, certain types of cancers and other metabolic disorders [5][6][7][8][9]. Flaxseed contain protein (20 g/100 g), dietary fiber (28 g/100 g), fat (41 g/100 g), moisture (6.5 g/100 g), minerals (2.4 g/100 g) and carbohydrates (28.9%), being recognized as an important oilseed and fiber crop [10][11][12]. ...
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The study aimed at assessing effects of partial replacement (0–40%) of wheat flour with roasted flaxseed flour (RFSF) on the quality attributes of biscuits. Nutritional, antioxidative, volatile and sensory properties, as well as texture analysis and the contents of macroelements and microelement were studied. Increasing RFSF content in biscuits resulted in a significant increase (p < 0.05) in protein (from 8.35% to 10.77%), fat (from 15.19% to 28.34%) and ash (from 1.23% to 2.60%) while the hardness and spread factor of the biscuits decreased with the increased level of roasted flaxseed flour. Moreover, the addition of 40% RFSF registered a positive influence on the fibre content of the final baked biscuits, increasing its value about 6.7-fold than in the control sample. Total phenolic content, antioxidant activity and biscuits’ aroma volatile profile increased their amounts with RFSF addition. The nutritional, textural and sensorial results of the present study demonstrated that 25% RFSF could be added in the biscuits manufacturing without affecting the biscuits aftertaste, offering promising healthy and nutritious alternative to consumers.
... The problem is of theoretical and practical interest, and a great number of domestic and foreign studies prove it is still important. The results of the studies allow concluding that meat products with a well-balanced fatty acid, vitamin, and mineral content can be obtained by introducing raw material of plant origin (primarily oils and flours) into their formulation[161][162].Thus, pumpkin seeds are a source of valuable bioactive agents. They have been proved to contain a lot of proteins (35 %), fats (40-55 %), essential oils, phytosterol cucurbitol, cucurbitin (0.5 %), phytin, organic acids (salicylic, malic), vitamins (carotene, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and Group B vitamins -B1, B2, PP) -up to 0.2 % [163-165]. ...
Collection of scientific articles published is the scientific and practical publication, which contains scientific articles of students, graduate students, Candidates and Doctors of Sciences, research workers and practitioners from Europe and Ukraine. The articles contain the study, reflecting the processes and changes in the structure of modern science.
The activity of enzymes in the digestive tract is an important parameter for appropriate digestive tract function. Feed mixtures can be adjusted to support enzymatic activity in different parts of the digestive tract. Flaxseed and hemp seed are commodities and significant sources of nutrition, and their addition to feed could change enzymatic activity in the digestive tract and improve nutritional intake. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of flaxseed, hemp seed and a combination of both on basic enzymes in the polysaccharidase group, such as amylase, cellulase, pectinase, xylanase and inulinase; basic enzymes in the disaccharidase group, including maltase, invertase and lactase; proteinases and lipases in the digestive tract of broiler chickens. During the experiment, the control group was fed a diet without flaxseed or hemp seed. The diet of the second group contained 80 g/kg flaxseed, the diet of the third group contained 40 g/kg hemp seed, and the diets of the fourth to sixth groups contained 80 and 30 g/kg, 80 and 40 g/kg and 80 and 50 g/kg flaxseed and hemp seed, respectively. Enzyme activity was found to depend on the location in the digestive tract and the composition of the feed mixture (P < 0.05). Most enzymatic conversion occurs in the ileum, where the addition of flaxseed and hemp seed to the diet increased most enzyme activities, namely, amylase, cellulase, pectinase, xylanase, maltase, invertase, proteinase and lipase activities. The highest values of enzyme activity were found in groups IV-VI fed a combination of flaxseed and hempseed, especially in chickens fed diet VI (flaxseed and hemp seed at 80 and 50 g/kg). Growth performance results confirmed the enzyme activity results, as the weights of the chickens increased after the addition of flaxseed and/or hemp seed. The findings have economic implications, suggesting that feeding a diet with a combination of flaxseed and hemp seed is beneficial.
The present study described the formation of stable emulsion of flaxseed oil (0%, 0.25%, 0.50%, 0.75% v/v) in ready to serve Mango beverages using 20 kHz ultrasound of power input 21 W, 32 W, 43 W for varying times 3, 5, 7 min to create emulsion droplets size 100–800 nm. Oil was extracted by ultrasound-assisted extraction and solvent extraction method by varying solvents, time, ultrasonic intensity etc. and physio-chemical characterization was conducted. Fatty acid profiling revealed that linolenic acid and linoleic acid are major fatty acids present in extracted oil. Effect of flaxseed oil in fruit-based beverage was evaluated in terms of turbidity, pH, acidity, color, antioxidant activity and carotenoids content. Pectin stabilizes emulsion droplets by generating electrostatic repulsion (ζ potential − 25 mV) and the emulsions were stable upto 18 days at (4 ± 2) °C. The rheological behaviour in terms of viscosity of the emulsion stayed unaffected with sonication time upon storage. The carotenoids and antioxidant activity significantly increased from 151.37 to 292.24 µg/mL and 26.99% to 61.43% respectively at 0 to 0.75% added oil in the beverage and enhanced stability by preventing lipid oxidation. Organoleptic score of 0.25% and 0.50% of the flaxseed oil in the beverage was found to be acceptable.
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The present study aimed to analyze the effect of the addition of whole and milled flaxseed on the quality characteristics of yogurt. In the first stage of the research, the optimal dose of flaxseed was determined. In the second stage of the research, it was assessed whether the selected qualities of yogurt were affected by the form of flaxseed (whole or milled) and the time of addition (before or after fermentation). The yogurts obtained were stored at 5 °C for 21 days, and the changes in active acidity, apparent viscosity, syneresis, and the number of yogurt bacteria were determined. The results of the second stage of the study were subjected to two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p < 0.05). The study showed that the addition of milled flaxseed to yogurts in the amount of 1% was optimal. Time and form of flaxseed supplementation significantly influenced the changes in active acidity, apparent viscosity, and syneresis in the tested yogurts. The addition of flaxseed did not significantly change the content of yogurt bacteria. The results indicate that to achieve increased apparent viscosity and reduced syneresis, it is more advantageous to use milled flaxseed rather than whole flaxseed.
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У статті наведено результати дослідження можливості використання створеної композиційної суміші з лляного, рисового та ячмінного борошна у технології посічених напівфабрикатів. Для досягнення цієї мети вивчили обрані види борошна, обґрунтували співвідношення компонентів для створення суміші та дослідили якісні показники посічених напівфабрикатів виготовлених з її використанням. Вивчення функціонально-технологічних властивостей обраних культур, необхідне для оцінки можливості їх використання в м'ясних системах. Згідно отриманих даних подрібнене насіння усіх зразків володіє високими функціонально-технологічними властивостями. Білкові комплекси мають достатньо високу гідрофільність, що дозволяє формувати гелі, утворювати емульсії, поглинати воду і жири. Висока жироутримуюча здатність білків забезпечує ніжну і однорідну текстуру виробів, виключає відділення жиру, деформацію виробів, зменшує втрати під час термообробки. Розробка м'ясних продуктів які містять рослинні білки забезпечує максимальне використання тваринних і рослинних ресурсів, а також сприяє створенню рецептур і технологій одержання збалансованих продуктів харчування. Запропоновано удосконалення технології та розширено асортимент посічених напівфабрикатів з заміною м'ясної сировини на гідратовану композиційну суміш лляного, ячмінного та рисового борошна в кількості 15-30%. Удосконалена технологія виробництва посічених напівфабрикатів відрізняється тим, що додатково перед перемішування композиційну суміш лляного, ячмінного та рисового борошна гідратують у воді температурою 10…12° С (гідромодуль 1 :4) протягом 3…5 хв. Також окремо готується купаж рослинних олій. Далі гідратоване борошно та купаж рослинних олій подають на приготування фаршу, з наступним формуванням, паніруванням та заморожуванням за традиційною технологією. Застосування нем'ясних білкових харчових інгредієнтів рослинного походження дозволяє істотно підвищити економічні показники виробництва в результаті зниження вартості вихідної сировини й збільшення рентабельності виробництва продукції, найбільш раціонально використовувати м'ясну сировину, знизити втрату маси готових продуктів після технологічної обробки, підвищити обсяг випуску та розширити асортименти високоякісних продуктів харчування.
Background: Diabetes is a metabolic and endocrine disorder characterized by hyperglycemia. It will affect 350 million people by the year 2030. There are many ways of treating diabetes in herbal and modern medicine. Commonly used herbal medicines are flax seed and Nigella sativa for their blood glucose lowering properties, while metformin is the commonly used conventional medicine. This review includes 150 articles comparing the efficacy of these commonly used drugs . Objective: To compare the efficacy of Metformin against Flaxseeds and Nigella sativa in type 2 diabetes. Data sources: Medline, Embase, Lilacs, Cochrane library, Pubmed, Web of science Material and Methods: A systematic review was done and literature search was conducted from year 2006 to 2016 using relevant keywords i.e. diabetes, hypoglycemia, metformin, flax seed, nigella sativa. A total of 50 articles were selected for the study (17) of metformin. Randomized control trials--8 for dose comparison, 4 as monotherapy, and 5 with the combination of insulin with metformin--were pooled (31,474 patients) in the final analysis. Results: Extensive decrease was found in HbA1C levels under large doses of metformin as compared to small doses, with no striking increase in side effects (16). Descriptive and analytical articles of Flaxseed (n=1450 patients) showed valuable differences in blood sugar and HbA1C levels in patients using different doses (17). Eligible articles of Nigella sativa (n=1980 patients) showed obvious differences in blood sugar levels, while long standing supplementation of Nigella sativa corrected glucose homeostasis and augmented the antioxidant effects in type 2 patients treated with oral hypoglycemic drugs. Key words: Diabetes, hypoglycemia, metformin, flax seed, nigella sativa,
Nowadays, meat production is developing towards a wider range of products. Their components are optimised and combined in such a way as to increase the nutritional value, to preserve the most valuable components of raw materials, to make for some lacking macro- and micronutrients by including the functional ingredients in the recipe. A possible way to improve the meat products technology is making purposeful changes in the formulation of the product. This involves selecting certain types of raw materials and additional components in ratios providing the required nutritional value of the finished product. New functional ingredients having the desired physiological effects on the human body should be combined with new, modern means of processing raw materials that will provide the necessary technological characteristics, the quality and safety of the final product. Home-manufactured vegetable supplements obtained from seeds of different crops are a promising direction of research. Their unique chemical composition and functional properties allow achieving the expected nutritional value of the finished product in accordance with modern nutritional standards. This article presents the results of analysing and studying of oilseeds aimed at creating a balanced multifunctional supplement to be used in recipes of functional meat products. It has been studied how the functional and technological parameters of seeds change depending on the degree of their grinding. The organoleptic evaluation has allowed determining the optimum ratio of plant components in the mixture. The quality parameters of the supplement developed, its biological value, vitamin and mineral composition have been determined. The organoleptic characteristics and structural and mechanical parameters of meat model systems have been analysed, which has made it possible to recommend the right percentage of the composite oilseed mixture in the recipes of meat products, namely, pates and chopped semi-finished products.
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Flaxseed is one of the most important oilseed crops for industrial as well as food, feed, and fiber purposes. Almost every part of the flaxseed plant is utilized commercially, either directly or after processing. The stem yields good quality fiber having high strength and durability. The seed provides oil rich in omega-3, digestible proteins, and lignans. In addition to being one of the richest sources of α-linolenic acid oil and lignans, flaxseed is an essential source of high quality protein and soluble fiber and has considerable potential as a source of phenolic compounds. Flaxseed is emerging as an important functional food ingredient because of its rich contents of α-linolenic acid (ALA), lignans, and fiber. Lignans appear to be anti-carcinogenic compounds. The omega-3s and lignan phytoestrogens of flaxseed are in focus for their benefits for a wide range of health conditions and may possess chemo-protective properties in animals and humans. This paper presents a review of literature on the nutritional composition of flaxseed, its health benefits, and disease-prevention qualities, utilization of flaxseed for food, feed, and fiber, and processing of flaxseed.
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Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a major dietary (n-3) fatty acid. ALA is converted to longer-chain (n-3) PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and possibly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are fish-based (n-3) fatty acids that have proven cardioprotective properties. We studied the effect of daily supplementation with 3 g of ALA on the plasma concentration of long-chain (n-3) fatty acids in a predominantly African-American population with chronic illness. In a randomized, double-blind trial, 56 participants were given 3 g ALA/d from flaxseed oil capsules (n = 31) or olive oil placebo capsules (n = 25). Plasma EPA levels at 12 wk in the flaxseed oil group increased by 60%, from 24.09 +/- 16.71 to 38.56 +/- 28.92 micromol/L (P = 0.004), whereas no change occurred in the olive oil group. Plasma docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) levels in the flaxseed oil group increased by 25% from 19.94 +/- 9.22 to 27.03 +/- 17.17 micromol/L (P = 0.03) with no change in the olive oil group. Plasma DHA levels did not change in either group. This study demonstrates the efficacy of the conversion of ALA to EPA and DPA in a minority population with chronic disease. ALA may be an alternative to fish oil; however, additional clinical trials with ALA are warranted.
This study examined the application of pressurized low polarity water (PLPW) extraction of lignans, proteins and carbohydrates from defatted flaxseed meal. Key processing conditions included temperature (130, 160, 190°C), solvent pH (4, 6.5 and 9), solvent to solid ratio (90, 150 and 210mL/g) and introduction of co-packing material (0 and 3g glass beads). The addition of 3g glass beads increased the yields for all target compounds. The maximum yield of lignans (21mg/g meal) was obtained at 170°C with solvent to solid ratio of 100mL/g meal at pH 9. Optimal conditions for protein extraction were pH 9, solvent to solid ratio of 210mL/g meal and 160°C. Total carbohydrates recovery was maximized at 215mg/g meal (50% recovery) at pH 4 and 150°C with solvent to solid ratio of 210mL/g meal. The increase of temperature accelerated extraction, thus reducing solvent volume and time to reach equilibrium. For the extraction of proteins and carbohydrates, however, a temperature of 130–160°C is recommended, as proteins and carbohydrates are vulnerable to thermal degradation.
Flaxseed proteins are potent multi-functional ingredients for food formulation owing to their techno-functionalities, food preservation capacity, and health benefits. A possible synergistic effect with mucilage on their functionalities could be valuable even though this co-product in flaxseed may limit the protein yield during their production processes. Their techno-functional properties could also be considered in mixture with other flax bioactive components such as lignans and fibre to enhance the value of the flaxseed meal. The present paper reviews flaxseed protein uses in food and their health benefits. New perspectives according to consumers’ demand for products with health promoting bioactive components are also suggested.
Preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with nutritional interventions is a therapeutic strategy that may warrant greater research attention. The increased use of omega (ω)-3 fatty acids is a powerful example of one such nutritional strategy that may produce significant cardiovascular benefits. Marine food products have provided the traditional dietary sources of ω-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is an alternative to marine products. It is one of the richest sources of the plant-based ω-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Based on the results of clinical trials, epidemiological investigations and experimental studies, ingestion of ALA has been suggested to have a positive impact on CVD. Because of its high ALA content, the use of flaxseed has been advocated to combat CVD. The purpose of the present review was to identify the known cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and ALA and, just as importantly, what is presently unknown.
Structure, composition, and variety development of flaxseed
  • J K Daun
  • V J Barthet
  • T L Chornick
  • S Duguid
Daun J.K., Barthet V.J., Chornick T.L. and Duguid S (2003). Structure, composition, and variety development of flaxseed. Flaxseed in human nutrition Thompson LU, Cunnane SC. 1-40. • Singh K. K., Mridula D., Rehal J. and Barnwal P. (2011). Flaxseed: A Potential Source of Food, Feed and Fiber Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition Volume 51, (3): 210-222