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Incorporating Whole Flaxseed into Spaghetti and Bread

Whole flaxseed is a source of omega-3 fatty acid, soluble and insoluble fibre and lignans, a group of chemical compounds that are metabolized by intestinal bacteria into compounds with health benefits. But to gain the benefits of flaxseed, the hull must be broken during milling to release the seed. To help the industry open up new markets, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers developed the knowledge and know-how to process whole flaxseed and incorporate it into food products such as spaghetti and bread, while preserving its benefits. And by a happy coincidence, this past January, Health Canada approved a health claim linking daily consumption of 40 grams of ground whole flaxseed with a significant reduction in blood cholesterol.

The researchers discovered how to prepare ground flaxseed prior to processing so that its nutritional and functional properties are retained and even improved. By controlling the processing parameters, they produced high-quality spaghetti and bread that contain the Health Canada recommended intake of ground whole flaxseed. They are still working on the product to get it better. This work resulted from the Health Claims, Novel Foods and Ingredients Initiative of the Agricultural Regulatory Action Plan under the first Growing Forward framework. The results were published in a timely manner, allowing industry to take advantage of the opportunities created by the health claim.

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