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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND UTILIZATION OF BIOACTIVE COMPONENTS FROM NEW CROPS AND AGRICULTURAL CO-PRODUCTS

Location: Functional Foods Research Unit

Title: Evaluating the phytochemical potential of camelina--an emerging new crop of old world origin

Authors
item Berhow, Mark
item Vaughn, Steven
item Moser, Bryan
item Belenli, Deniz -
item Polat, Umit -

Submitted to: Recent Advances in Phytochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 29, 2013
Publication Date: March 20, 2014
Citation: Berhow, M.A., Vaughn, S.F., Moser, B.R., Belenli, D., Polat, U. 2014. Evaluating the phytochemical potential of camelina--an emerging new crop of old world origin. In: Jetter, R., editor. Phytochemicals--Biosynthesis. Function and Application. Recent Advances in Phytochemistry Series. New York, NY: Springer. p. 129-148.

Interpretive Summary: Camelina (gold-of-pleasure or false flax) is being developed as a new crop in North America, where its short maturation time and high yields, and low water, fertilizer, and pest control requirements allow its production on marginal agricultural lands or use in agricultural crop rotations. Camelina is an under-utilized source of interesting phytochemicals. The seeds contain up to 45% oil, which is rich in the omega 3 fatty acids, as well as containing up to 0.5% phytosterols and Vitamin E. Extraction of oil from camelina seeds by mechanical expeller yields a seed meal that consists of approximately 10% residual oil, 45% crude protein, 13% fiber, 5% minerals, and 25% other phytochemical constituents such as vitamins, glucosinolates, flavonols, and phenolic acids. The seed meal also contain a useful hydrophilic gum. While the oil fraction has been well characterized and its uses are growing, the seed meal has yet to be fully characterized for its potential use in animal feeds or in foods for humans. The oil, carbohydrate, protein, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical composition are reviewed in this manuscript and potential uses of the meal as functional food ingredients and nutriceuticals are discussed.

Technical Abstract: Out on the next frontier of nutritional research will be the complete biochemical and physiological characterization of plant-derived components that prevent or delay the development of chronic diseases in humans and animals. Many major crop products are nearly fully chemically defined, but the slow process of evaluating each compound alone or in mixtures has only just begun. Good complete simple model plant products are needed for this research. Camelina, or false flax (Camelina sativa L. Crantz), is an emerging oil seed crop in North America mostly for use as biodiesel fuel. The seeds contain up to 45% oil, which is rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-2 fatty acids, as well as containing fat-soluble antioxidants such as the Vitamin E-active tocopherols. Extraction of oil from camelina seeds by mechanical expeller yields a seed meal that consists of approximately 10% residual oil, 45% crude protein, 10% soluble sugars, 13% fiber, 5% minerals, and 10% containing the phytochemical constituents such as glucosinolates, flavonols, lignans, and phenolic acids. The seed meal also contains a hydrophilic gum. While the oil fraction has been well characterized and its uses are growing, the seed meal has yet to be fully characterized for its potential use in animal feeds or in foods for humans. The phytochemical components of camelina potentially have strong benefits for use in functional food roles.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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