Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 551–563 | Cite as

Evaluation of a Microwave-Assisted Extraction Method for Lignan Quantification in Flaxseed Cultivars and Selected Oil Seeds

  • Simona Mihaela Nemes
  • Valérie Orsat


An optimized microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) method was evaluated through repeatability, recovery and efficiency testing. The repeatability tests, performed by three users over time, were not significantly different. The recovery of lignan throughout the extraction, preparation and analysis steps is 97.5% with a coefficient of variation <1%. The MAE method is efficient for extracting lignans from the plant matrix, and it achieves significantly higher extraction yields than the two established reference methods. The applicability of the MAE method was demonstrated by extracting lignans from a variety of plant samples. The secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) content of seven flaxseed cultivars grown in Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, QC, in 2009 ranged from 14.6 to 18.9 mg SDG per gram of seed. Flax hulls produced in Winchester, ON, in 2010 were very rich in lignan; their SDG content was 40.0 mg/g of flax hull. Sesame seeds contained 0.18–1.89 mg SECO (aglycone of SDG) per gram of seed, with significant differences among black, white and brown sesame seed. Chia seeds contained 0.99–1.29 mg SECO per gram of seed, with significant differences among batches of seeds. Sunflower seeds had 0.046 mg SECO per gram of sample and almonds had 0.029 mg SDG per gram of sample. The optimized and evaluated MAE method is recommended for the general analytical quantification of lignans in plant samples.


MAE Secoisolariciresinol SDG Sesame Chia Sunflower Almonds 



The authors thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the ABIP programme of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the financial support. Thanks are due to Dr. Nam Fong Han from Natunola Health Inc. for providing the flax hulls and to Mr. Yves Dion from Centre de Recherche sur les Grains (CEROM) for providing the flaxseed cultivars. The help of Miss Yanti Yusoff, Mr. Maxime Ouelette-Payeur and Mr. Scott Hong Liang for carrying out the MAE repeatability tests is much appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bioresource Engineering DepartmentMacdonald Campus of McGill UniversitySainte-Anne-de-BellevueCanada

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