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U of S Prepares to Evaluate Extruded Flax and Pea Mixture

by 5m Editor
2 April 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1212. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1212

Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan plan to launch a study this summer which will examine the health and nutritional benefits of feed made from a mixture of extruded flax and peas. Extrusion uses high pressure and high temperature to shear the flax and peas releasing all of the oils while destroying antinutritional factors.

The university's Department of Animal and Poultry Science plans to evaluate a co-extruded product which contains a mixture of 50 percent flax and 50 percent peas. Dr. Murray Drew says researchers will examine the product's ability to improve the health and longevity of pigs, particularly sows, and to improve the meat for consumers in terms of its omega three fatty acid content.

"Flax is a very rich source of omega three fatty acids. Unfortunately if you remove the oil from the flaxseed you create linseed oil which is a very unstable product for the animal feed industry.

It's obviously the main ingredient in paint so it tends to set up and dry and form nasty products that animals don't want to eat. What we've looked at is using the whole flax seed. In that form the oil is very stable and it still has its great nutritional properties in terms of its omega three fatty acid content. We've been looking at that in terms of improving the immune system and immune function of pigs. Also, because the omega three fatty acids are going to be laid down in the flesh and fat of the pig, it's going to make a more healthy pork for the consumer."

Dr. Drew says, because flax is about 40 percent oil, extrusion tends to create a nasty oily dripping product but when flax is mixed with peas at a 50 percent ratio, the peas absorb and stabilize the oil. He says the protein and energy in the peas is also good for pigs so it's a win win situation with stable oil and improved protein quality.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor