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Ottawa Invests in Flax Research

By Amanda Brodhagen,

The federal government is investing in flax research, with the aim to find ways to boost the value of unused crop components, including flax oil and flax orbitides.

Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) presented the $535,000 in funding to Prairie Tide Chemicals Inc., on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The company, Prairie Tide Chemicals Inc. is classified as a federally incorporated start-up firm, which exists to improve the flavour of flax oil and extracting unused compounds from flax.

"Flax is an important oilseed crop for Canadian producers and processors. We are proud to support the sector in their continued research in developing innovative uses for flax that will create new markets and opportunities for Canadian farmers,” Yelich said in a release.

The funding will allow Prairie Tide Chemicals Inc., to work with industry partners including, Bioriginal and the University of Saskatchewan to make advancements on the methods (commercial scale) of recovering sweet flax oil and flax orbitides. The goal is to test these components and see how they can be used commercially in food and cosmetic products.

"With this funding, Prairie Tide Chemicals will squeeze new value from flaxseed. PTC aims be the first company to commercialize an element of flaxseed oil, called orbitides, for use in health food, cosmetics, pet food and possibly pharmaceuticals,” Martin J.T. Reaney, President and CEO, Prairie Tide Chemicals said in a release.

Canada is the largest producer and exporter of flax in the world.

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