Submitted to: European Workshop on Flax Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Fiber (bast) and core tissues of Holland-grown Ariane and South Carolina grown Natasja cultivars of flax were hand separated for analyses by various methods. Gas-liquid chromatography of carbohydrate and aromatic constituents indicated similarities within fractions for the two cultivars but large differences between fiber and core tissues. Amounts of uronic acids and xylose were lower while those of mannose, galactose, and glucose were higher in fibers. The more mature regions were similar in analyses to whole stems. Aromatics occurred in core cell walls, some cell corners and middle lamellae of fiber, and cuticle as determined by ultraviolet absorption microspectrophotometry and histological stains. Core lignin was high and contained guaiacyl and syringyl groups, while fiber lignin was small in amount and appeared to be the guaiacyl type. 13 C CP MAS NMR spectroscopy measured relative cellulose crystallinity among fractions and further showed greater amounts of cutin in Natasja vs. Ariane. Microscopy NMR, and gas-liquid chromatography indicated that the commercial enzyme mixtures Flaxzyme and Ultrazym gave similar retting characteristics to dew retting in Ariane flax; Flaxzyme was slightly better. Chemical and structural characterization of the various tissues in flax by these several methods should be useful in developing flax standards and in determining and measuring quality in the flax industry.