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item Akin, Danny
item DODD, ROY
item Sohn, Mi Ryeong
item Foulk, Jonn

Submitted to: Flax Institute Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2006
Publication Date: 3/22/2006
Citation: Akin, D.E., Dodd, R.B., Sohn, M., Foulk, J.A. 2006. Retting of linseed straw with pectate lyase for flax fibers. Proceedings of the 61st Flax Institute of the United States. Pp. 129-135.

Interpretive Summary: The development of use of linseed straw as a source of flax fiber in the US is impaired by climatic conditions in the northern USA that prevent field retting. Research has been conducted over a series of years, with involvement of several research associates and collaborations with universities, to test commercial enzymes for their usefulness in retting linseed straw. Results indicate that two commercial products, one a pectinase-rich enzyme mixture and the other a chelator, constitute a successful retting formulation to produce consistent quality flax fibers from linseed straws produced in North Dakota under standard linseed production systems. This research has the potential to bring a new product, consistent flax fiber, and improve the income of farmers while supplying a domestic source of flax fiber.

Technical Abstract: Linseed straw has bast fibers that could find applications in several industries, thereby providing another source of income from flax and eliminating the need to burn straw. Enzyme-retting may provide a method to effectively separate fibers to provide a high and consistent quality fiber. Pectate lyase in a commercial product has been shown to successfully ret linseed straw and to produce fibers with a higher yield, strength, and cleanliness than an existing enzyme-retting method. The use of different enzymes for retting could provide fibers with tailored properties for specific applications.