Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil. Sunflower oil or sunflower oil is an edible vegetable oil extracted from the pressing of the seeds of the plant of the sunflower , also known as Helianthus annuus , chimalate , halters , marigold , sunflower , tlapololote , corn Texas .


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  • 1 General
  • 2 Origin and history
  • 3 Uses
    • 1 Culinary use
    • 2 Industrial uses
  • 4 Production process
  • 5 Phases to which the plant is subjected
  • 6 Oil bottling
  • 7 Nutritional value
    • 1 Rich in vitamin E
    • 2 Oleic acid
    • 3 Oleic acid, heart-healthy fat
  • 8 Advantages and disadvantages of its consumption
  • 9 Advantages of culinary employment
  • 10 sunflower seeds
  • 11 See also
  • 12 Source


Technically it is a set of unsaturated, heart-healthy fats (it has similar amounts of oleic acid compared to olive oil), and an abundant source of vitamin E, it is also considered a powerful antioxidant. Some varieties of the sunflower plant contain up to 45% oil. The extraction of sunflower oil is done by pressing the seeds of the plant.

Origin and history

The sunflower plant is native to America and was probably cultivated around 1000 BC and from there, the Spanish exported it to Europe at the beginning of the 16th century .

In Spain and Europe, sunflower cultivation was done for its ornamental quality. Until the 19th century it was not considered important as an industrially exploitable crop. The spread of sunflower in Eastern Europe was due to the lack of other oils and the quality of freezing only at very low temperatures. Due to its adaptation to the southwestern steppes, sunflower became popular in Russia and today it is the largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil in the world.

In Spain the sunflower began to be cultivated in 1964 in the western area of ​​Andalusia, being also the first cultivation area for which documentation is available. The progression of its cultivation was spectacular since the sunflower offered a cultivable alternative in dry land, it was easily mechanized and the yield was sufficiently high. Spain is the first country in the European Union in terms of sunflower planting area. Currently it is the most consumed seed oil in Spain and perhaps in Europe.


Culinary use

The main use of this oil is in cooking, and it is very suitable for frying as it resists the saturation process of the oil at temperatures up to 180 o C. This type of oil impregnates less fat in the food and consequently the fried food absorbs less fats, and therefore will be less caloric. Without a doubt, its most important use is as edible oil, as it is the most used seed oil in the world

We can say that refined sunflower oil (purchased at a supermarket) is yellow dim and lacking in flavor and intense smell, the “virgin” (unrefined) 1. to press, has a very pleasant aroma.

Industrial uses

The oil is used as a biofuel to produce biodiesel from diesel-powered cars. It is a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel (along with rapeseed oil and others). Sunflower oil is also used to make soap, candles, varnishes, or paint, as well as being an excellent lubricant. Research has also been carried out to use sunflower oil as an ecological fuel as an alternative to oil in diesel engines, which is already being used in several countries. The remains of the processing of the sunflower caryops: husks and other remains of the processing for the oil, are used as food for livestock.

Elaboration process

Sunflower cultivation for oil production began in Spain around 1964 in the western part of Andalusia. It is currently the most widely used seed oil in Spain and the rest of European countries, representing a healthy and economical option to other varieties of oil. Sunflower oil is obtained from sunflower seeds

Phases to which the plant is subjected

  • Peeling:Seeds are separated from impurities. The shells are subsequently used for energy (fuel) production and animal feed.
  • Crushing and extraction:Crushing is necessary to break the plant cells, which are then pressed to obtain the oil. At an industrial level, extraction is carried out using authorized solvents.
  • Refining:In this phase, the impurities that have formed in the previous phases are eliminated, in order to soften the flavor of the oil and decrease the degree of acidity. The final product is a soft yellow oil with a slightly sweet taste, with a maximum acidity of 0.2 o The commercial name is “refined sunflower oil”.

Oil bottling

The sunflower oil that can be purchased in stores or supermarkets is “refined sunflower oil”, its trade name. Sunflower oil has a soft yellow color and a slightly sweet taste. It is very little acid, maximum 0.2 o and with an oleic acid content between 15% to 20%. Unrefined or virgin sunflower oil, extracted from 1st pressure, has a much more intense flavor.

Currently, there is a sunflower oil rich in oleic acid on the market, which comes from special seeds that provide it with an oleic acid content of around 80% offering better advantages than normal sunflower oil.

Nutritional value

Sunflower oil is mainly made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids, of which linoleic acid and linolenic acid stand out. These fatty acids are considered essential and must be provided daily through food, as they cannot be synthesized by the body. Sunflower oil also provides monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid, but in less quantity than that found in olive oil.

Rich in vitamin E

After the wheat germ oil, this oil is the richest in vitamin E, with an antioxidant action.

  • Amounts per 100 mL of oil
  1. Calories Total Fat (g) 899
  2. AGS (g) 99.9
  3. AGM (g) 11.8
  4. AGP (g) 28.6
  5. E (mg) 48.7
  • AGS:saturated fatty acids.
  • AGM:monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • AGP:polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Oleic acid

“High-oleic” sunflower oil is similar in composition to olive oil. This type of oil is obtained from seeds of special sunflower varieties, rich in this acid and represents an interesting offer due to its good nutritional design and its affordable price.

Oleic acid, heart-healthy fat

Oleic acid is a type of monounsaturated fat characteristic of olive oil, olives and avocado, and after this novelty in food technology, it also abounds in this new type of oil. In olive oil oleic acid is present in a proportion of around 70–75%, in that of “high-oleic” sunflower in around 80%, in avocado in a proportion close to 70%, while in Conventional sunflower oil, this fatty acid reaches only 31.5%. Oleic acid exerts a beneficial action for the blood vessels and the heart, since it increases the so-called “good cholesterol” (HDL-c) in the blood, helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Advantages and disadvantages of its consumption

In the body polyunsaturated fats produce the following cardioprotective effects: they reduce the levels of total cholesterol and other fats called triglycerides in the blood; they reduce the risk of formation of blood clots ( thrombosis and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular accidents ) and produce vasodilation (increase the diameter of the blood vessels).

Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that helps prevent oxidation of the body’s cells and protects it from the action of free radicals. This translates into a lower risk of suffering from degenerative diseases such as Arteriosclerosis , certain types of cancer , etc.

In the kitchen it is recommended to use raw sunflower oil to preserve its properties, and if it is used to fry, it is advisable not to overheat it. Seed oils resist high temperatures worse than olive oil, so it is not advisable to use them more than two or three times to fry food. Due to its mild flavor, this oil is very suitable as a raw dressing and for making mayonnaise-type sauces.

There is currently a sunflower oil rich in oleic acid, which comes from special seeds and whose composition resembles that of olive oil. The advantages of this new oil is that it better resists the temperatures generated when frying food and decomposes more slowly, being able to be reused more times, provided it is properly filtered.

Advantages of culinary employment

Compared with the rest of the seed oils (sunflower, corn, soybeans …), the oils rich in oleic acid present interesting advantages when it comes to using them in the kitchen. They are best suited for cooking, as they resist better than other temperatures of up to 160–200 o C, which are those produced by frying. They are more stable and decompose more slowly. They impregnate less fat in the food, and consequently, the food fried in this oil absorbs less fat, and therefore it will be less caloric.

Sunflower seeds

The husks of the sunflower seeds are also used. Energy is obtained from them or they are given as food in animal feed. The next step is a crushing. It is very necessary since sunflower oil is found inside the cells that make up the pipe. Thus, the cell walls and membranes that support sunflower oil must be broken to release it. In industrial production and processing, sunflower oil is extracted using authorized solvents that separate it from other cellular elements; the most prominent of them, water. Then you need to refine it. Phospholipids and metals are easily removed first. The free fatty acids are then neutralized and removed. With natural or activated earth the compounds that color it are eliminated. If necessary, it is deodorized.


by Abdullah Sam
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