PNG images: Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil compressed from the seeds of sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. The world's total production of sunflower oil in 2014 was nearly 16 million tonnes, with Ukraine and Russia as the largest producers.

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The olive's fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil; it is one of the three core ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine. The tree and its fruit give their name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacsjasmineForsythia, and the true ash trees (Fraxinus). The word derives from Latin ŏlīva ("olive fruit", "olive tree"; "olive oil" is ŏlĕum)[4] a borrowing from the Greek ἐλαία(elaía, "olive fruit", "olive tree") and ἔλαιον (élaion, "olive oil")[5] in the archaic form *ἐλαίϝα.[6] The oldest attested forms of the Greek words are the Mycenaean 𐀁𐀨𐀷, e-ra-wa, and 𐀁𐀨𐀺, e-ra-wo or 𐀁𐁉𐀺, e-rai-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.[7][8] The word "oil" in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fru

it.

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Sunflower oil is a monounsaturated (MUFA)/polyunsaturated (PUFA) mixture of mostly oleic acid (omega-9)-linoleic acid (omega-6) group of oils. The oil content of the seed ranges from 22% to 36% (average, 28%): the kernel contains 45–55% oil. The expressed oil is of light amber colour with a mild and pleasant flavor; refined oil is pale yellow. Refining losses are low and the oil has good keeping qualities with light tendency for flavor reversion. The oil contains appreciable quantities of vitamin E, sterols, squalene, and other aliphatic hydrocarbons.

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for sunflower crops such as sunflower oil. Measures such as the development of hybrid sunflowers to increase oil production have been introduced to meet this demand.

In 2014, world production of sunflower oil was 15.8 million tonnes. Leading 2014 producers and volumes were Ukraine (4.4 million tonnes), Russia (4.1 million tonnes), Argentina (0.9 million tonnes), and Turkey (0.7 million tonnes).

Several varieties of sunflower oilseeds have been developed by standard plant breeding methods, mainly to vary the amount of oleic acid and linoleic acid which, respectively, are the predominant monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in sunflower oil.

While the original oilseed was high in linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated ω-6 fatty acid, a premium high oleic acid strain was developed in the late twentieth century. Early in the 21st century, a mid-oleic strain marketed as Nu-Sun was introduced as an improved frying oil that would have a low level of saturated fat, but would not require hydrogenation. These three major strains have been purposely bred to differ in their levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, saturated fat and tocopherols. All seed hybrids and the resulting different sunflower oils are mostly devoid of essential nutrients, with the notable exception of vitamin E which is high in content in all varieties (nutrient tables).

Several types of sunflower oils are produced, such as high linoleic, high oleic and mid oleic. Mid-oleic sunflower oil typically has at least 69% oleic acid. High oleic sunflower oil has at least 82% oleic acid. Variation in unsaturated fatty acids profile is strongly influenced by both genetics and climate. In the last decade, high stearic sunflower lines have been developed in Spain to avoid the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in the food industry.

Sunflower oil is high in the essential vitamin E and low in saturated fat. The two most common types of sunflower oil are linoleic and high oleic. Linoleic sunflower oil is a common cooking oil that has high levels of polyunsaturated fat. It is also known for having a clean taste and low levels of trans fat. High oleic sunflower oils are classified as having monounsaturated levels of 80% and above. Newer versions of sunflower oil have been developed as a hybrid containing linoleic acid. They have monounsaturated levels lower than other oleic sunflower oils. The hybrid oil also has lower saturated fat levels than linoleic sunflower oil.

The phosphatides (0.1–0.2%) present in the oil are lecithin (38.5%) and cephalin (61.5%); they occur in combination with protein and carbohydrates.

Sunflower oil also contains lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes. Sunflower oil's properties are typical of a vegetable triglyceride oil.

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