Oil Content and Fatty Acid Composition of Five Linseed Varieties Grown In Two Agro-Ecological Locations of Kenya
Ms. Lilian W. Kariuki, Dr. Arnold N. Onyango, Prof. Peter W. Masinde, Prof. Stephen M. Githiri, Dr. Kenneth Ogila

Linseed oil is rich in the health promoting fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and oleic acid (omega-9), and is increasingly being used as a nutraceutical. However, there is limited linseed production in Kenya today, necessitating an increase in its production while ensuring a high content of the two fatty acids. This study aimed to determine the oil content and fatty acid profiles of five linseed varieties grown in a relatively warmer location, Juja, with that grown in a cooler location, Njoro, in two seasons (February-June and July- December); as well as the effect of nitrogen fertilizer application on linseed oil contents and fatty acid profiles. Mean oil content was slightly but significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Juja than in Njoro (34.8% versus 32.5 %, respectively). Mean oleic acid content was significantly higher in Juja (24.2 %) than Njoro (19.0 %), while alpha-linolenic acid was significantly higher in Njoro (48.5%) than Juja (44.2%). There were intervarietal differences in both oil content and fatty acid profiles, and the significance of these differences were both season and location-dependent. Nitrogen fertilizer application had minimal effect on oil contents and fatty acid profiles. In conclusion, good quality linseed can be produced in both agro-ecological locations.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v4n2a22