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A brief introduction of sunflower oilseed

Sunflower seed
Sunflower seed


The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas. It possesses a large inflorescence (flowering head), and its name is derived from the flower's shape and image, which is often used to capture the sun. The plant has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves, and circular flower heads. The heads consist of many individual flowers which mature into seeds, often in the hundreds, on a receptacle base. From the Americas, sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along withsunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Leaves of the sunflower can be used as cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production.

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil compressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. Sunflower oil was first industrially produced in 1835 in the Russian Empire. The world's largest sunflower oil producers now are Ukraine, Russia and Argentina.
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 color 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, terpene and methyl ketones (chiefly methyl nonyl ketone).
As a frying oil, sunflower oil behaves as a typical vegetable triglyceride. In cosmetics, it has smoothing properties and is considered noncomedogenic. Only the high oleic variety possesses shelf life sufficient for commercial cosmetic formulation. Sunflower oil's INCI name is Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.
Sunflower oil is also an ingredient in sunflower butter.
Sunflower oil can be used to run diesel engines when mixed with diesel in the tank.

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