Linseed and Its Basic Composition
Keywords:Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Alpha Linolienic Acid, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals, Lignans, Dietary Fiber
The archaeological evidence of flax cultivation dates back to >6000 BC and it is considered as one of the oldest and most useful crops. Components of flax have diverse uses. Cultivar development of flax is currently focused on enhancing the oil content and nutritional value to meet the demand of nutraceutical market supply, as an alternate source of fish oil, a rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6). Growing awareness about the role of diet and quest for human wellness has fuelled interest in ‗Functional foods‘ and functional attributes of many traditional foods are being reinvented. Flaxseed is cultivated in many parts of world for fiber, oil as well as for medicinal purposes and also as nutritional product. Flax continues to surge forward in its recognition as a functional food. It is the richest known source of alpha-linolenic acid, the phytoestrogen, lignans, as well as being a good source of soluble fiber. Flax is also very important fibrous bast plant, both for valuable textile fibres and composites applications and for bioactive compounds used in folk medicine, nutraceuticals and functional food. Flax seeds are rich in valuable fatty acids, amino-acids, phytoestrogens, cyclolinopeptides, lecithin, waxes, lignin, pectin, mucilage, etc. ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are effective preventing cardiovascular and heart diseases. The flax seed has been shown to possess significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. In this review, composition, essential fatty acids,omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolienic acid, proteins, vitamins and minerals, lignans, dietary fiber and uses of flaxseed are discussed.
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