Linseed oil is obtained from the seeds of the flax plant. It is a golden yellow, brown, or amber in color and produced by pressing or solvent extraction. Although linseed oil and flaxseed oil are derived from the same plant, linseed oil is mainly used as a pigment binder while flaxseed oil is used as a food and a nutritional supplement. It is a drying oil since it can polymerize into a solid form.
Linseed oil is produced from flaxseed plant that is grown in the Red River Valley of America and Canada. There is around 35% oil in the seed. The crude linseed oil is obtained through the process of press and solvent extraction. Then different kinds of linseed oil are produced with different process: Mechanical degumming and filtering make the crude linseed oil into a product called ASTM Raw. Alkali refining, bleaching, chilling and filtering make the crude linseed oil into refined linseed oil.
Paint and Coating
Linseed oil is a common carrier used in oil paint. It can also be used as a painting medium, making oil paints more fluid, transparent and glossy. It is available in varieties such as cold pressed, alkali refined, sun bleached, sun thickened, and polymerised.
Flax seeds contain lignans, a class of phytoestrogens considered to have antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. Some brands of supplement have lignans added during production. Flaxseed oil is easily oxidized, and rapidly becomes rancid, with an unpleasant odour, unless refrigerated. Fresh, refrigerated and unprocessed, linseed oil is used as a nutritional supplement. It contains the highest level of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA among vegetable oils.