Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) belongs to the Asteraceae family and originated in North America, but was first commercialized in Russia back in 1835. Sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin are increasingly popular in today’s food applications for the value of the their non-GMO status. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the plant is recalcitrant to (genetic) transformation and genetic engineers are not likely to modify this species any time soon! Top producing countries are the Ukraine, Russia, China, EU including USA and Argentina.
Food manufacturers are shifting away from GMO oils (soybean, canola) and replace them with oils, such as sunflower for its heart-healthy high-oleic acid content. Sunflower oil is light in taste and appearance, supplies more vitamin E than any other oil, and is hypo-allergenic, another advantage over soybean oil. It has become popular with consumers and international chefs alike.
There are three 3 grades of organic Sunflower Oil
– Organic, high oleic, virgin (cold-pressed) winterized 75-90% oleic acid
– Organic virgin (cold-pressed) deodorized, winterized 14 – 39 oleic acid
– Organic and virgin (cold-pressed) 14 – 39 oleic acid
MESKO HEALTH predominantly trades with organic, high oleic Sunflower Oil with an oleic acid range of 75-90%.
- Spray-coating oils for cereal, fruit and crackers
- Non-dairy creamers
- As frying oil
- Butter substitutes
- Cosmetic & hair care products
Sunflower Oil Composition:
|Fatty acid composition (in %)|
|C14:0 Myristic acid||Max. 0.1|
|C16:0 Palmitic acid||2.6 – 5.0|
|C16:1 Palmitoleic acid||Max. 0.3|
|C18:0 Stearic acid||2.0 – 6.2|
|C18:1 Oleic acid||75.0 – 90.7|
|C18:2 Linoleic acid||2.1 – 17.0|
|C18:3 Linolenic acid||Max. 0.3|
|C20:0 Arachidic acid||0.2 – 0.5|
|C20:1 Ecosenoic acid||0.1 – 0.5|
|C22:0 Behenic acid)||0.5 – 1.6|
|C22:1 Erucic acid||Max. 0.3|
Methods of Extraction
The oil is expeller-pressed under low-temperature and undergoes further deodorization, bleaching and winterization.
High Oleic Sunflower Oil Favorably Impacts Health
A diet rich in high-oleic-acid sunflower oil favorably alters low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and factor VII coagulant activity. Substitution of foods rich in saturated fat with foods rich in high-oleic-acid sunflower oil and margarine has favorable outcomes on blood lipids and factor VIIc. This oil presents a useful source of MUFA for diets aimed at prevention of heart disease.
References: Journal of the American Dietetic Association web site (www.adajournal.org) – 2005
Canadian Medical Association Journal web site (www.cmaj.ca).