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Evaluating the Phytochemical Potential of Camelina : An Emerging New Crop of Old World Origin

Mark A. Berhow, Steven F. Vaughn, Bryan R. Moser, Deniz Belenli, Umit Polat
Recent advances in phytochemistry 2014 v.44 no. pp. 129-148
Camelina sativa, antioxidants, crude protein, fiber content, flavonols, glucosinolates, lignans, minerals, oilseed crops, omega-3 fatty acids, phenolic acids, plant gums, seed oils, seeds, sugars, tocopherols
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.