Canada's Mustard Seed Industry
Mustard seed (Brassica spp.) is an annual, cool season crop that can be grown in a short growing season, commonly in rotation with small grains. A relative of canola, mustard seed has the advantage of being more tolerant to drought, heat, and frost. Canada produces three mustard types: yellow (Sinapis alba), brown, and oriental (Brassica juncea).
To date, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has undertaken the majority of mustard seed research in Canada. However, recently the industry has agreed on a levy that will support research projects. Over the last ten years, research stations in Western Canada have released consistently improving varieties of this crop. Present day varieties of yellow and oriental mustard have characteristics that are specific to various segments of the marketplace. Current objectives for breeding include the development of improved cultivars of all mustard varieties and a number of quality enhancements, including better adaptation to the semi-arid soils, and increases in yield as well as in oil and protein content. Some varieties with low oil content have also been developed for dry milling purposes. Recently, AAFC developed a new canola-quality mustard plant that could potentially be cultivated in drier regions of western Canada.
Mustard seed (yellow) contains 20% to 30% of protein, 24% to 35% of oil, 6% to 12% of lipids and 12% to 18% carbohydrates.
Mustard oil contains 93% allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which helps against the growth of moulds, yeast, listeria, E.coli and several other food borne pathogen.
Products and Uses
Mustard seed is used primarily in the condiment and food industries, in the form of either seed or oil. It is also used as an emulsifier, a water binding agent, and for texture control in many products (the bran or seed coat of yellow mustard contains about 25% arabinogalactan, a mucilaginous substance).
Yellow mustard seed, the mildest of the three types, is suitable for a wide range of applications, including dry milling for flour, wet milling for mustard pastes, and whole ground seed for spice mixes, meat processing, and other food products. The oil content of yellow mustard seed is the lowest of the three types of mustard at approximately 27%.
Brown and oriental mustard seed are hot and spicy. Brown mustard seed is ground into flour which is used to produce hot mustard used in European products. The oil content of brown mustard seed is about 36%. Oriental mustard seed is often used to produce spicy cooking oils. There are oriental mustard seed varieties grown in Canada that have oil contents of up to 50%, although the average oil content is approximately 39%.
Source: Forecast based on August-July crop year, Market Analysis Division, Strategic Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, September 20, 2006.
Mustard Seed Statistics
For the latest market information and analysis available from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, please consult the following publications.
Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission
212-111 Research Drive
Tel: 306-975-6629/306-975-6620 (Executive Director)
Executive Director: Laurie Hayes
Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives