Refined Sunflower Oil is the Non–Volatile oil compressed from the seeds of Sunflower plant. It is commonly used in food as Frying Oil, and in Cosmetic formulations as an Emollient. It is a Monounsaturated / Polyunsaturated 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 refined sunflower oil contains appreciable qualities of vitamin E, Sterols, Squalene, and other Aliphatic Hydrocarbons.
Sunflower oil is mainly a triglyceride; a typical constituent is shown below;
- Palmitic Acid (Saturated): 5%
- Stearic Acid (Saturated): 6%
- Oleic Acid (Monounsaturated Omega–9): 30%
- Linoleic Acid (Polyunsaturated Omega–6): 59%
It is high in the essential vitamin E and low in saturated fat. The two most common types are Linoleic and high Oleic. Linoleic sunflower oil is common cooking oil that has high levels of Polyunsaturated Fat. It is also known for having a clean taste and low 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.
Sunflower oil contains several compounds that have benefits for skin. They include:
- Oleic acid
- Vitamin E
- Linoleic acid
Sunflower oil is a non–comedogenic carrier oil which is highly absorbent, and won’t clog pores. It’s non-irritating for most people, and can be used on all types of skin, including dry, normal, oily, and acne-prone.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect skin from free radicals and from adverse effects of the sun, such as premature aging and wrinkles. Using a skincare product formulated with sunflower oil is a good way to obtain vitamin E’s benefits for skin.
Eating foods prepared with sunflower oil is another way, although there are other plant oils, such as olive oil, that may be more beneficial nutritionally.
Sunflowers are one of the few crops native to the United States. According to some sources, indigenous people likely began to cultivate them around 1000 BC. Sunflower seeds probably didn’t reach Europe until the 1800s. When sunflower seeds arrived in Russia, their oil content interested farmers. The farmers selectively bred the plants until they almost doubled the oil content of the seeds.
Today, sunflower oil is a food, a medicine, and a skin treatment. It is available in several forms, each with a different formula and with its own health benefits. Sunflower oil is a popular vegetable oil in the kitchen because of its mild flavor and high smoke point.
One tablespoon of sunflower oil contains:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
Sunflower oil is also a good source of these vitamins:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Benefits of Sunflower Oil
1. Promotes heart health
Sunflower oil contains Phytochemicals such as Choline and phenolic acid, which studies have found to be beneficial for the heart. Furthermore, it’s naturally free from trans fats, which is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.
2. Provides energy
Sunflower oil is loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which provide the body with a good source of fuel.
3. Lowers cholesterol
Research shows that including sunflower oil in the diet can effectively lower our total cholesterol levels as well as the build-up of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
4. Strengthens the immune system
Sunflower oil’s antioxidant properties strengthen the cell membranes, making it harder for bacteria and viruses to enter the body. In addition, this increases our ability to fight off infections.
5. Improves digestion
As sunflower oil is extremely light, it is better absorbed in your digestive tract than many other oils. It also acts as a mild laxative, which can help with constipation.
6. Repairs the body
Sunflower oil contains proteins that help in building and repairing the tissues and enzymes required for the healthy functioning of the body’s systems.
Preparation and Storage:
Because refined sunflower oil is primarily composed of less–stable polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. It can be particularly susceptible to degradation by heat, air and light. It triggers and accelerates oxidation. Keeping it at low temperatures during manufacture and storage can help minimize rancidity and nutrient loss. The storage in bottles are made of either darkly colored glass or plastic that has been treated with an ultraviolet light protectant.
Standard Specification of Refined Bleached Deodorized (RBD) Sunflower Oil: