Sunflower oil is obtained by cold pressing oil-type sunflower seed varieties and hybrids. It could be pressed by screw oil press. There are mainly three types of sunflower oils that produced, linoleic, high oleic and mid oleic.
Linoleic Sunflower Oil
Linoleic sunflower oil is the traditional sunflower oil and has been the most common type of sunflower oil till now. It has 69% polyunsaturates or linoleic acid, an essential nutrient that can’t be made by our body, and must be supplied by food sources. The balance is monounsaturated fats (oleic) at 21% and 10%-11% low saturated fat level.
1. The high polyunsaturated fats and low saturated fats promote healthy cholesterol levels, as polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol levels and help to break down cholesterol deposits in your blood vessels.
2. The high levels of polyunsaturated fats make linoleic sunflower oil susceptible to oxidation, reducing the shelf life. It must be partially hydrogenated to maintain its stability, a process that also creates trans fats, which is unhealthy.
3. Linoleic acid is a key to giving fried foods their flavor. With a light, clean taste and high in Vitamin E, linoleic sunflower oil are used for home cooking oil and salad oil, margarine and shortening.
4. Linoleic sunflower oil can be used for infant massage. It helps to protect them from skin infections and bacterial infection, and diaper rash caused by the acidity of body wastes. Massage of high linoleic sunflower oil protects premature and low birth weight infants from infections in hospital enhance neurological development and help gain weight steadily.
High Oleic Sunflower Oil
High oleic sunflower oil contains more than 80% oleic acid or monounsaturated fatty acid, and only about 10-12% of polyunsaturated linoleic acid.
1. Intake of more monounsaturated fat will help raise the levels of good cholesterol and lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
2. High oleic sunflower oil has a long shelf life. Being predominately monounsaturated, it is less prone to oxidation. The lower polyunsaturated fat content makes it more resistant to rancidity. It is trans fat-free, highly stable without hydrogenation, used to preserve food products instead of hydrogenated oils which is unhealthy.
3. It has a neutral taste, which does not interfere with the flavors of the dish, makes perfect salad dressings. It is used as a dairy substitute, a spray oil for cereals, crackers and dried fruit. Having a high smoking point, it is quite an excellent choice for deep-frying.
4. High oleic sunflower oil is also used for cosmetics. It has moisturizing properties and is easily absorbed. It will not clog pores that cause blemishes or pimples to form. Due to its good oxidation stability, it is also recommended in sun care products. High oleic sunflower oil contains more vitamin E, than any other edible oil, which functions improving the texture of the skin, and triggering cell regeneration, so that it can help rejuvenate wrinkled skin and heal the damaged skin.
Mid-oleic Sunflower Oil
Mid-oleic oil is the result of hybridization linoleic and high-oleic cultivars. It contains a balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, low in saturated fats. On one hand, it retains high enough levels of linoleic acid to remain an excellent dietary source, and give fried foods their desired flavor, on the other hand, the relatively high levels of oleic acid make it less prone to rancidity, require no hydrogenation and the resulting trans fat.