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Total elimination of hydrocyanic acid in flaxseed

Total elimination of hydrocyanic acid in flaxseed

Flaxseeds are recognized for their nutritional benefits, including high levels of omega-3, fiber and lignans. However, they also contain hydrocyanic acid, a potentially toxic compound. Galab Laboratories recently carried out a series of analyses to assess the effectiveness of a treatment, using saturated steam injection technology, to reduce this substance in flaxseeds.

Regulation (EU) no. 2023/915 sets two maximum levels for HA in flaxseed. A maximum level of 150 mg/kg applies to unprocessed, whole, ground, crushed or chopped linseed placed on the market for the final consumer. A maximum level of 250 mg/kg applies to whole, ground, crushed and chopped unprocessed linseed.

Analysis methodology

Analyses were carried out in accordance with § 64 LFGB ASU F 0093, modified April 2013.

Pre-treatment results

Pre-treatment analyses revealed a hydrocyanic acid concentration of 164 mg/kg in the flax seeds. This level is a cause for concern, as it exceeds the food safety thresholds established by several public health organizations. Therefore, measures must be taken to ensure consumer safety.

  • Hydrocyanic acid before treatment: 164 mg/kg
  • Limit of quantification (LOQ): 5.0 mg/kg
Results after treatment

Saturated steam injection completely eliminated hydrocyanic acid, with levels below 5.0 mg/kg.

  • Hydrocyanic acid after treatment: <5.0 mg/kg
  • Limit of quantification (LOQ): 5.0 mg/kg

Galab Laboratories has demonstrated that saturated steam injection treatment can eliminate this compound from flaxseed, thereby enhancing food safety and nutritional benefits. This technology offers an additional guarantee of quality and safety for health-conscious manufacturers and consumers, enabling flaxseed to be used more widely in a variety of food products.