Determination of biologically active compounds in flaxseed (Linum usitatissmum L.)

Flaxseed has been widely used in human nutrition as a functional food for thousands of years, while flax oil (more commonly known as linseed oil), because of its strong flavor and limited stability, has a predominant usage in industrial applica-tions 1,2 . The presented study has been conducted within the Project “Flaxseed for human health” which aims to breed a flaxseed with higher levels of the oleic acid at the expense of the unstable α-linolenic acid and, thereby, make conditions for a broad use of flaxseed oil in food and medicine. In order to assess health benefits / risks associated with flaxseed consumption, also biologically active compounds present in this crop, namely phytoestrogen secoisolariciresinol (SECO), carotenoid lutein and cyanogenic glycosides were determined in several cultivars grown under various conditions. For this purpose, high performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector (for determination of SECO and lutein) or with tandem mass spectrometry detector (for determination of cyanogenic glycosides) was evaluated and validated.

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