One of the important oilseed & fibre crop, which is popular throughout the world is Linseed. This crop is grown for its fibre and seed, which is used to produce linen. The linen seed has the oil content in the range of 33% to 47%. When the oil is pressed out, it leaves a by-product known as oil cake, which is commonly used as cattle feed. The linseed oil produced is a yellowish drying oil, which is derived from the flax plant's dried ripe seeds.
Linseed is also known as flax seed, which is available in two general varieties that are brown and yellow or golden. These seeds are chemically stable and the entire milled flax seed can be stored for minimum 4 months, at room temperature, that too with the assurance of least or absolutely no change in its taste or smell. However, the ground flaxseed may get rotten in just one week, at the room temperature. This can be avoided by proper storage or refrigeration in the sealed containers.
In the world wide scenario, the global annual output of linseed is approximately 2.60 million tons. The list of linseed producers is being lead by India, US, Canada, and China. Among these countries, Canada has the maximum share of linseed trade, which is about 80% of the overall global rate. The domestic and international production of linseed together has been calculated roughly between 6,00,000 ton – 7,00,000 ton.
In the global ratings, India is at the third position for the production of linseed. Indian linseed is cultivated as the rabi crop. Its sowing season is October & November, whereas its harvesting season is February to April, in India. Madhya Pradesh is one such Indian state, which has been leading in the production of linseed crop which is divided into two main categories - alluvial and peninsular (depending on the root formations). This oilseed is processed by using various oil mill machinery such as Seed Cleaner, Seed Elevator, Seed Cracker, Seed Conveyor etc.
Some of the important points related to the linseed oil are as follows:
- Main trading centres in India are Agra, Indore, Gwalior, and Kanpur
- Main consumption centres in India are Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh