Change to the calculation and reporting of flaxseed fatty acid profiles

Beginning with the 2007-08 crop year, the Canadian Grain Commission changed the methods it uses to calculate and report flaxseed fatty acid profiles. Compared to previous calculations, iodine values for export shipments are approximately 2 to 3 IV units lower than were previously reported for an identical export loading sample.

Flaxseed export shipment fatty acid profiles can now contain the following fatty acids. Calculated iodine value determinations can include all the listed unsaturated fatty acids.

  • myristic (C14:0)
  • palmitic (C16:0)
  • palmitoleic (C16:1)
  • stearic (C18:0)
  • oleic (C18:1)
  • linoleic (C18:2)
  • linolenic (C18:3)
  • arachidic (C20:0)
  • eicosenoic (C20:1)
  • eicosadienoic (C20:2)
  • behenic (C22:0)
  • erucic (C22:1)
  • docosadienoic (C22:2)
  • lignoceric (C24:0)
  • nervonic (C24:1)

Analysis methods

The analysis methods for fatty acid composition (%) and iodine value for oil extracted from export samples are:

Background

Before the 2007-08 crop year, only these 5 major fatty acids were included in fatty acid profiles for flaxseed samples:

  • palmitic (C16:0)
  • stearic (C18:0)
  • oleic (C18:1)
  • linoleic (C18:2)
  • linolenic (C18:3)

Fatty acid profiles were based on these 5 fatty acids, normalized to 100%; the calculated iodine values were determined based on the relative contents of the 3 unsaturated fatty acids listed above. However, flaxseed samples contain as much as 0.5% of other minor fatty acids, such as arachidic (C20:0), eicosenoic (C20:1), behenic (C22:0), and lignoceric (C24:0). Export composite loading samples also often contain trace amounts of other oilseeds. These trace amounts can contribute 1% to 1.5% of additional minor fatty acids to the complete profile.

In addition to the reduction of IV units due to changes in calculation and reporting methods, the 2007-08 crop was also significantly lower in linolenic acid due to the extreme heat experienced in much of the flaxseed growing regions of western Canada.

Related links

Contact

For more information about calculating and reporting of fatty acid profiles, contact Oilseeds Monitoring and Research.

Date modified: