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Hall Awarded Grant for Flax Study

Plant Sciences Associate Professor Dr. Clifford Hall received a North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Council research grant to determine if a new low temperature pasteurization technique will improve the safety and shelf life of flax seed.

North Dakota State University Plant Sciences Associate Professor Dr. Clifford Hall was awarded a Basic and Applied Research Grant on a project titled “Optimizing Pasteurization Conditions for Flaxseed Quality and Safety” from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) in November 2014. APUC is a division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

Pasteurization is important for processing flax for human consumption to reduce the number of potentially harmful microorganisms. However, traditional high temperature pasteurization of flax can cause degradation of linolenic acid, a key omega-3 fatty acid that provides health benefits, most notably in chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. Degradation of linolenic acid causes off-smells and flavors and reduces health benefits.

Hall will work with Napasol®, a food safety equipment manufacturing company in Fargo, ND, and Dr. Teresa Burgholz in the NDSU Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences to determine if a new low temperature pasteurization technique will reduce the microbial populations on flaxseed and still maintain shelf life of flaxseed sold for human consumption. Burgholz will assess the microorganism populations of flax samples in the study. The duration of the project is one year.

The mission of APUC is “to create new wealth and jobs through the development of new and expanded uses of ND agricultural products and resources” through the awarding of grants in six areas: basic and applied research, marketing and utilization, farm diversification, nature based agri-tourism, prototype and technology and technical assistance. Grants are awarded quarterly. http://www.business.nd.gov/apuc/

Source: Clifford Hall (clifford.hall@ndsu.edu, 701-231-6359)
Author: Karen Hertsgaard (karen.hertsgaard@ndsu.edu, 701-231-5384)

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