Background: Flaxseed is becoming an increasingly widely used food ingredient. The
rising interest of the food industry in this nutraceutical is primarily because of functional nutrients,
such as alpha-linolenic acid and lignans, which have health benefits due to their lipid-lowering
Objective: The objective of this study was to provide an overview of the patenting of flaxseed
products with cholesterol-lowering effects.
Method:Patent applications filed by country of origin were retrieved from the Derwent Innovations
Results: A total of 307 patent documents were identified, of which 184 claim the use of flaxseed or
parts of the flax plant in the product formulation, for their lipid-lowering effect when consumed by
humans. A few of the patent applications contain claims for new products based on flaxseed in isolation,
including the preparation of foods designed to inhibit the production of cholesterol. Most of
the claims were for flaxseed in the form of oil and in association with other lipid-lowering compounds,
mainly for the food industry, in the form of dietary supplements or baked products designed
to raise their high-density lipoprotein content, and for treating heart problems. China and the
United States are the leading countries of flax-related applications.
Conclusion: These results may have important implications for the production of functional food
products that meet specific societal demands.