Functional properties, uses of flaxseed protein.

January 1, 1995 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Functional properties, uses of flaxseed protein.

Year: 1995
Authors: B D Oomah, G Mazza.
Publication Name: INFORM.
Publication Details: Volume 6; Number 11; 1246.


Canada is a major producer and exporter of flaxseed with the U.S. being a principal importer of both flaxseed and flaxseed oil. In this article, the authors review the functional properties and uses of protein from flaxseed. The interest in flaxseed has grown recently due to increasing available information regarding the nutritional benefits of both the seed and the oil. Flaxseed meal is a valuable animal feed and has been traditionally used in rations for cattle and sheep. The meal contains up to 10% of mucilage soluble fiber which assists the movement of food through the digestive tract, improves the absorption of water to increase bulk and contributes a glossy appearance to the animal’s coat. Flaxseed meal has an essential amino acid index of 69 compared to 79 and 75 for soybean and canola meals, respectively. The protein score, based on the most limiting amino acid relative to FAO nutritional requirements, is 82 for flaxseed meal and 67 for soybean meal. Flaxseed protein has properties that are of interest to food manufacturers. Its functional characteristics include solubility, rheological characteristics, emulsifying capacity, and foaming and whipping ability. The authors review each of these properties in this paper. Flaxseed proteins can be used in foods such as canned fish sauce, meat emulsions and ice cream. The combination of protein and polysaccharides in flaxseed meal is advantageous in reduced-calorie and low-fat bakery products. Bakery products containing 30% flaxseed have been reported to have hypolipidemic effects in the diet. The beneficial effects of flaxseed and flaxseed meal as a protein source in ruminant diets include the production of cow’s milk with increased levels of n-3 PUFAs. Several Canadian companies are marketing eggs which are produced by hens fed rations containing flaxseed and which have enhanced n-3 PUFA concentrations and reduced n-6/n-3 PUFA ratios. The authors predict that the use of flaxseed and flaxseed proteins will increase, especially in bakery products and in nutraceuticals.

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