Like most vegetable oils, sunflower oil extracted from sunflower seeds is available in both refined (neutral flavor) and compressed (buttery, nutty) varieties. The high smoke point of refined sunflower oil (440 to 475 degrees Fahrenheit) makes it a good choice for high-temperature applications such as frying.
Sunflower oil accounts for a significant share of global oilseed production. Like other oils in the past, it was obtained by pressing. Today, industrial production consists of two main stages: seed press and oil refining. Sunflower oil is nutritionally valuable because it is rich in essential fatty acids, but it is also important in the diet because it is stable when heated and has a neutral taste.
Sunflower oil compressed from sunflower seeds has been popular in Eastern Europe for decades, but has recently gained much attention in the United States and other parts of the world, including Asia.
History of sunflower oil
Sunflower oil is originally native to the American Southwest and was a source of fat for Native Americans who boiled the seeds to extract the oil.
This oil became especially popular in Russia and entered other parts of the world through Europe after the 18th century. Sunflower oil gradually became a popular alternative to yellow oil and lard, both of which were banned by the Russian Orthodox Church.
In the nineteenth century, sunflower oil was one of the most important products in Russia and Ukraine. This oil is still the main cooking oil in Russia, the leading producer of sunflower oil in the world.
In North America, sunflower oil was dominated by cheaper corn and soybean oils, which were often hydrogenated (known as trans fats!) to be used in processed foods such as potato chips.
In the 1970s, Americans turned to sunflower oil because of its importance to health, because it has a high percentage of multiple unsaturated fats (59 to 62%) and it was believed that this oil reduces cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
In the 1990s, when everyone became aware of the dangers of trans fats, potato chips makers turned to sunflower oil en masse and began a renaissance of sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil is mainly triglyceride (fat), which is usually obtained from the fatty acids linoleic acid and oleic acid.
The British Pharmacopoeia lists the following specifications for the composition of this oil:
- Palmitic acid (saturated): 5%
- Stearic acid (saturated): 6%
- Oleic acid (monounsaturated omega 9): 30%
- Linoleic acid (polyunsaturated omega 6): 59%
Is it possible to fry food with sunflower oil?
The smoke point of sunflower oil is so high that it is suitable for frying and other high heat applications. Of course, like all unsaturated oils, sunflower oil is unstable and decomposes with prolonged, non-standard heat.
What are the health benefits of sunflower oil?
Sunflower oil naturally has a high proportion of polyunsaturated fats that contain essential fatty acids. Like linoleic acid, it is a zigzag omega-6 fatty acid that is better than direct saturated fats in terms of cholesterol levels, making it a good choice for heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. This oil also contains vitamin E, although the antioxidant properties of the oil are lost during cooking.
Due to the lack of protein and carbohydrates, sunflower oil contains lipids and vitamins E and K. One tablespoon of sunflower oil (15 ml) contains 122 kcal of energy. Sunflower oil is rich in linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) that is essential for humans because we are unable to synthesize it ourselves. It also contains oleic acids and of course a relatively small amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Preparation and Maintenance
Since sunflower oil is mainly composed of less stable polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, it can be degraded, especially in the presence of heat, air and light, by stimulating and accelerating oxidation. Storing sunflower oil at low temperatures during production and storage can help minimize acidity and reduce the risk of nutrient loss. Ideal storage of this oil is in bottles that use dark colored glass or plastic with UV protection.
How healthy is sunflower oil compared to other oils?
Sunflower oil contains about 13% saturated fat, which is more than grape seed oil, canola oil and safflower oil. Of course, this is less than the saturated fat content of coconut oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil and soybean oil. On the other hand, it has the same amount of fat as olive oil and corn oil.
Unrefined sunflower oil contains vitamin E and should be consumed raw to enjoy its benefits. High oleic sunflower oil is an oil that contains more monounsaturated fats than polyunsaturated fats. There is currently little evidence that monounsaturated fats are healthier than polyunsaturated fats, but they tend to be slightly more stable.
In cooking and food preparation
Refined sunflower oil can be used instead of any neutral vegetable oil for roasting, heating, frying and so on. Refined sunflower oil is used for cooking at low to very high temperatures. As a frying oil, it acts like a normal vegetable triglyceride.
Unrefined sunflower oil is a traditional salad dressing in Eastern European cuisine. Sunflower oil is also one of the ingredients in sunflower butter. In some cooking methods, sunflower oil is used to cook snacks such as potato chips or French fries.
Today, sunflower oil is widely used in the preparation of various cosmetics, especially masks, creams, compresses and lotions. Also, as you know, sunflower oil is a rich oil of vitamin E and therefore has a tremendous effect on skin cell regeneration and, consequently, skin health.
The process of extracting sunflower oil leaves behind crushed seeds, commonly referred to as sunflower meal, which is rich in protein and dietary fiber and is used as animal feed as well as fertilizer.
Sunflower oil supplements have been marketed to treat eczema, but their true effects are still being tested.
Sunflower oil can be used to start diesel engines if mixed with diesel in the tank. Due to the high levels of unsaturated fats, it offers higher viscosity at cold temperatures.
In the European Union and the United Kingdom, sunflower oil is sprayed on tomato products as a fungicide to control powdery mildew (Oidium neolycopersici). Because of this important usage, it is classified as an “essential ingredient” that can be used on organic and conventional farms.
Sadr Novin Khorasan Trading with a 10-year history in the field of import and export and using the experiences of food experts, in every season of the year, brings sunflower oil with the highest quality and the most appropriate price to you, dear buyers.
To buy sunflower oil or to know the price of sunflower oil, contact the collection experts by phone or by sending a message through the contact us page.
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