Flaxseeds (Linum usitatissimum
L.) are oilseeds endowed with nutritional constituents such as lignans, lipids, proteins, fibre, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. Owing to their established high nutritional profile, flaxseeds have gained an established reputation as a dietary source of high value functional ingredients. Through the application of varied bioprocessing techniques, these essential constituents in flaxseeds can be made bioavailable for different applications such as nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and food industry. However, despite their food and health applications, flaxseeds contain high levels of phytotoxic compounds such as linatine, phytic acids, protease inhibitors, and cyanogenic glycosides. Epidemiological studies have shown that the consumption of these compounds can lead to poor bioavailability of essential nutrients and/or health complications. As such, these components must be removed or inactivated to physiologically undetectable limits to render flaxseeds safe for consumption. Herein, critical description of the types, characteristics, and bioprocessing of functional ingredients in flaxseed is presented.
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