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Progress in enzyme-retting of flax
Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Athens.
KTH, Superseded Departments, Fibre and Polymer Technology.
South Central Poultry Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, USA.
Agro Business Par, Denmark.
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2004 (English)In: Journal of Natural Fibers, ISSN 1544-0478, Vol. 1, no 1, 21-47 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

New methods for retting flax are sought to overcome problems in the current method of dew-retting of flax. Published data are reviewed and new data presented on the development and testing of a method to ret flax using pectinase-rich enzyme mixtures plus chelators based on cost and fiber yield and properties. In spray enzyme retting (SER), flax stems are crimped to physically disrupt the plant's protective barrier and then sprayed until soaked with, or briefly immersed in, an enzyme/ chelator formulation. Flax is then incubated at temperatures optimal for enzyme activity, washed, and dried. Pilot scale tests, conducted with 10 kg samples of flax retted with a series of formulations, showed that this method effectively retted flax stems from a variety of sources, including fiber flax, mature fiber flax, and linseed straw. Fiber yield, strength, and fineness were significantly influenced by variations in enzyme-chelator amounts. Cellulases in pectinase mixtures appeared to preferentially attack dislocations in fibers and fiber bundles resulting in loss of fiber strength. Polygalacturonases alone effectively separated fiber from non-fiber components. The SER method proved to be an effective framework for further tests on enzyme-chelator formulations that now must be integrated with physical processing to optimize the extraction of flax fibers based on cost and fiber yield and properties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 1, no 1, 21-47 p.
Keyword [en]
Chelators, Fiber yield, Fibernodes, Fineness, Microscopy, Pectinases, Strength
National Category
Agricultural Sciences
Research subject
SRA - Molecular Bioscience
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-52457DOI: 10.1300/J395v01n01_03ScopusID: 2-s2.0-24044478144OAI: diva2:466783

QC 20111220

Available from: 2011-12-16 Created: 2011-12-16 Last updated: 2014-04-07Bibliographically approved

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