Linseed meal (Linum usitatissimum)

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Linseed meal is the byproduct of extracting the oil from flaxseed. which contains high amounts of protein and natural nitrogen.Like other seed meals the high protein content is a great source of nutrition.

  • Synonyms: Linum rubrum, Linum grandiflorum var rubrum Common   name:   Flaxseed

Linseed   meal   is   the   residue   remaining  after

extraction of linseed oil from  linseed/flaxseed.

Nutritive value

Linseed meal contains 32-37% CP and 70-85% TDN. It is unique among the oilseed residues in that it contains from 3-10% of mucilage. This is almost completely indigestible by nonruminant animals  but can be broken down by rumen microbes. It     is readily dispersible in water forming a viscous slime. It is fed mostly to horses and young  calves.

Linseed meal


Linseed meal has a fairly low protein content of approximately 35% and is severely deficient in lysine. For this reason it is a good source of protein for cattle, buffalo, sheep and swine  but is not a good source of protein in the poultry rations. Linseed meal is also low in  carotene and vitamin D. Linseed has the highest omega-3 fatty acids content of any oilseed and research has shown that feeding linseed in the ration of animal increases the omega-3 fatty acid content of milk and meat.

Deleterious factors

Linseed meal is laxative when fed in large amounts. It contains two types of toxic factors. One is adipeptide called linatine  composed  of  glutamic  acid  and  l-  amino-D  -proline.  The latter amino acid is an antagonist of pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Thus, in nonruminants linseed meal may produce pyridoxine toxicity.  Immature linseed contains a small amount    of cyanogenetic glycoside, linamarin and an associated enzyme linase which is capable of hydrolyzing it with the evolution of hydrogen cyanide which is extremely toxic. Death results from combination of the cyanide with cytochrome oxidase leading to immediate cessation    of cellular respiration and anorexia. Low temperature removal of oil may produce a meal in which unchanged linamarin and linase persist. The cyanogenetic glycosides in linseed meal have protective effects against selenium  toxicity.