What is Flaxseed?
Flax is a blue flowering annual herb that produces small flat seeds varying from golden yellow to reddish brown color.
Flaxseed is the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acid (α-linolenic acid) and the phytohormone lignans. These seeds are considered as functional food as it is a good source of high quality protein and other phenolic components. Edible flaxseed products include the whole flaxseed, ground meal and extracted oil or mucilage.
Also Read: What is Frosting – Bakery Ingredient – Its Uses, Advantages, Cautions
Synonyms: Linseed or flax
Why are Flaxseeds used in food industry?
Flaxseed is considered as functional food owing to the presence of three main bioactive components—alpha-linolenic acid, lignans and dietary fiber.
History of using Flaxseed
Also Read: What is Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) – Uses in Food, FDA Regulation and Advantages
Flaxseed was native of India and was a staple food crop. Flax has been cultivated for thousands of years. Currently Canada is the largest producer of flax, followed by the United States, China, and India.
Uses of Flaxseed
- Flaxseed contains oil that is used for edible purpose.
- It is used as an additive in the preparation of a number of dietary items such as baked cereal products, ready to eat cereals.
- It is used in the manufacturing of salad toppings, meat extenders.
- It is used as an ingredient in manufacturing of certain bread, muffins and spaghetti.
- Flax seed is also used as whole or milled in batters, dough and various baked products.
Also Read: Eggs as a Bakery Ingredient – Different ways of Using EGG in Food Products
- Flaxseeds serve as a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
- It helps lower cholesterol.
- It helps is improving digestion problem.
- It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes.
- Flaxseeds contain anti-nutrients that may have adverse influence on the health and well-being of human population and these are Cyanogenic glycosides.