Sunflowers were first discovered by Native Americans in the southwestern United States around 3000 BC. The plant was introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers around 1500 AD, and the first patent for sunflower oil was issued in England in 1716.

Sunflower is an annual herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family that has a compound inflorescence about 15 to 30 cm in diameter and produces seeds called sunflower seeds. Sunflower seed is a fruit with a shell about 20 mm long and 15 mm wide, which contains an oil seed.

There are two types of sunflower seeds: those with high oil potential (40% oil) and those with low oil potential (less than 30% oil), but since they are the focus of the oil extraction industry, more than 90% of the seeds The products produced are related to oil. As a common product for the extraction of oil, sunflower meal or cake is obtained, which is a good source of protein for animal feed.

Oil is the most valuable product of sunflower seeds and meal is considered as a by-product. Sunflower meal is a great food for livestock, especially for ruminants. Sunflower meal is dry and can be stored for a long time without significant loss or damage.

As mentioned, sunflower meal is a by-product of the extraction of oil from sunflower seeds, the sunflower oil which has the fourth world production after the extraction of soybean oil, canola and cottonseed oil. Russia and Ukraine are the two main producers and exporters of sunflower meal (and oil), as sunflowers grow best in colder climates. The European Union ranks third in the world. The EU is also a major importer of sunflower meal.



Extraction of sunflower oil is mainly done by solvent extraction. The main issue is that the composition of sunflower meal is related to the amount of sunflower husk in the final product. Sunflower oil can be extracted from peeled seeds, partially flaky or even completely flaky. Naturally, the nutritional value (and price) of the by-product increases as the amount of shell in the final feed material decreases.

Sunflower seeds contain about 42% oil, 16% crude protein and 27% fiber. This fiber is rich in lignin (10%), which makes it valuable enough for certain animal species that need such fiber for some reason. Commercial sunflower meal products are usually classified based on their shell and therefore their protein content, which of course reflects their fiber concentration. Therefore, we generally have three products:


Sunflower Meal 1


1. Sunflower meal with shell has 28-30% protein and 25% fiber. This product is ideal for ruminants and single-stomach vegetarians (rabbits, horses).

2. Partially peeled sunflower meal has 33-35% protein and 21% fiber. This product is widely available and can be used in limited quantities even in the diet of single-stomach omnivores (poultry and pigs).

3. Finally, completely peeled sunflower meal has 38-40% protein and less than 15% fiber, is the last type of meal. This product is ideal for the diet of livestock, poultry and pigs.



Sunflower meal is the fourth largest oilseed meal produced and consumed in the world. Sunflower meal has the most potential use in ruminant diets, but also as a protein supplement in non-ruminant diets. Skinless or semi-peeled sunflower meal can replace soybean meal in ruminant nutrition.

Low-fiber, high-protein meals can also be used to feed poultry and pigs. Lower levels of lysine and threonine may limit the use of sunflower meal for some non-ruminants. However, sunflower meal contains excellent levels of methionine, which provides potential benefits for mixing with other meals.


Content and nutritional value

Like other plant protein sources, the nutritional value of sunflower meal for animal feed depends on the quality and content of the protein, which determines the different categories available in the market. Indirectly, the fiber and fat content also determines the quality of the product and affects its appearance and color, so that at a glance you can see the grading from gray to black depending on the amount of shell in the feed. Sunflower meal has a lower protein content than soybean meal and cottonseed meal and has more fiber, but it has good amino acid characteristics for livestock and along with its fiber, it is quite pleasant.

In general, the amount of sunflower meal in each feed is determined by its fiber concentration (and characteristics), as there are standards that must be met in each feed formula. Sunflower meal is relatively low in lysine (unlike soybean meal) and copper, but high in calcium and phosphorus. The remaining oil in sunflower meal (1-2%) is rich in polyunsaturated linoleic acid (omega-6) and monounsaturated oleic acid (omega-9).

In terms of anti-nutritional factors, sunflower meal has no significant composition that can affect the performance of the animal. In contrast, sunflower meal contains sugars that enhance its flavor, something that can be considered in the diet of animals, especially when fully peeled sunflower meal is available.


Protein in sunflower meal

Sunflower meal has less crude protein than other oilseeds such as soybean, canola or cottonseed meal. Crude protein levels can vary depending on the amount of crust in the meal.


Energy in sunflower meal

The energy value of sunflower meal is less than that of rapeseed, soybean or cottonseed meal. Energy varies significantly with fiber level and residual oil content. Having more levels of crust in the product reduces the energy content and the apparent density of the final meal.

Increasing the fat content in mechanically extracted meals provides a higher energy density that may be more valuable to animals that need more nutrients or where small amounts of supplements are used.



Sunflower meal is available worldwide. Global production in 2019 is estimated at 21.8.5 million tons. Ukraine and the Russian Federation are the main producers with production of 6.3 and 5.1 million tons in 2019. The European Union (EU-27) is the third largest producer in 2019 with 4.8 million tonnes. The EU also imported 3.4 million tonnes of sunflower meal in 2019.



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 meal with the highest quality and the most appropriate price to you, dear buyers.

To buy sunflower meal or to know the price of sunflower meal, contact the collection experts by phone or by sending a message through the contact us page.