Sunflower oil is obtained by pressing (cold-pressed sunflower oil) or refining (refined sunflower oil) peeled sunflower seeds (Helianthus annuus L.).
The sunflower is native to Mexico and to the southern USA and was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, by the Spaniard Monardes. Today, it is cultivated in temperate latitudes in Europe, America, China and India as one of the most important oil-yielding plants on the planet.
Seeds contain =40% pale (refined) to dark yellow (cold-pressed), drying fatty oil which, in turn, contains >85% unsaturated fatty acids, of which linoleic acid accounts for over 2/3rds. Sunflower oil is thus one of the highest-rated edible oils in terms of nutrient physiology. In addition, sunflower oil is used in the margarine industry, the food industry (salad dressings, mayonnaise), also in the production of surface coatings, colours and soaps. The acid mixture obtained by means of saponification of sunflower fat is used in the production of lubricants.
Since both oils exhibit similar fatty acid and tocopherol spectra, evidence of the presence of sunflower oil in safflower oil (safflower seed oil) can only be demonstrated using the sterol pattern. The tocopherol spectrum will show whether or not soya oil and sunflower oil have been blended.
INCI Name: Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil