Linola is the trademark name of solin, cultivated forms of flax (Linum usitatissimum) bred for producing linseed oil with a low alpha-linolenic acid content. Linola was developed in the early 1990s by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). It was developed and released in Australia in 1992 and first commercially grown in 1994. Linola varieties are named after Australian lakes.
This variety was developed to provide a source of edible linseed oil with a low alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content of approximately 2%, as compared to 50% in the wild type variety. It was done to improve the storage quality of linseed when used as a bulk livestock feed. Linseed's previous main use had been linseed oil for use as a paint ingredient, with the ALA (omega-3 fatty acid) being a quick drying component. With the advent of "plastic" water-based paints, the linseed market fell into decline, but when marketed as a stock feed, the omega-3 content also deteriorated quickly in storage. It also has a correspondingly higher content of the gamma-linolenic acid, omega-6 fatty acid, around 65% to 75%. The lower level of ALA increases the oxidative stability of the oil/seed, which makes remain edible when stored. The seed colour was also changed from the wild type dark brown seed to a light yellow seed, which consequently gives an oil of a light colour, easily distinguished from the darker linseed oil, the flaxseed oil that we consume today. Linola oil does not contain any useful omega-3 fatty acids, and is not likely to be found as a human food/health supplement. Linola can specially help against neurodermatitis. Linola is being produced in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and in the U.S. states of Washington and Idaho. Linola substitutes for flax in cropping rotations; it is claimed to have lower production costs than canola, but brings prices comparable to canola or other edible oils. Linola is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration.
- CRS Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition - Order Code 97-905
- "Growing Linseed and Linola". Australian Department of Primary Industries. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- J. C. P. Dribnenkil and A. G. Green (1995). "Linola '947' low linolenic acid flax". Canadian Journal of Plant Science 75 (1): 201–202. doi:10.4141/cjps95-036. Retrieved 24 April 2013.