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Linseed oil

Flax

Linaceae Linum usitatissimum L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Linseed oil, obtained from seed of the flax plant, is primarily used in industry; but some is used for edible purposes in eastern Europe.

The flax plant is erect growing, to 3 feet, with narrow, entire leaves. The fruit is a pod or capsule, which is indehiscent.

flax seed Linseed oil, obtained from seed of the flax plant, is primarily used in industry; but some is used for edible purposes in eastern Europe.

The flax plant is erect growing, to 3 feet, with narrow, entire leaves. The fruit is a pod or capsule, which is indehiscent.

flax flower The seeds contain around 35 to 44 percent of drying oil. In eastern Europe, the seed is generally first cold pressed, the cold-press oil being used in foods. A later hot press yields additional industrial oil. In the U.S., oil extraction is generally hot press, followed by solvent extraction, and the oil is not used as food. The press cake from hot pressing is a valuable livestock feed. The flax seed contains a cyanogenic glucoside which forms hydrocyanic acid by enzyme action unless the enzyme is inactivated by heat. Flax seed for oil was grown in the U.S. on an average of about 2.7 million acres, 1964-66.

flax plant

World production of linseed oil averaged near 1,200,000 tons, 1964-66. Production was down in 1967 but back up in 1968 - about equal to 1964.


Last update February 18, 1999 by ch