Sunflower Seed

Sunflower seed oil is obtained from Helianthus annuus and is grown mainly in Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, some EU-27 countries, China, and USA. The oil normally contains 60-75% of linoleic acid with >90% of oleic and linoleic acids combined and virtually no linolenic acid. Its major triacylglycerols are typically LLL (14%), LLO (39%), LLS (14%), LOO (19%), LOS (11%), and other (3%). It is widely used as a cooking oil and is valued as an important component of soft spreads especially in Western Europe. High-oleic varieties have been developed. Sunola (Highsun) comes from a high-oleic variety and has about 85% oleic acid (some samples reach 90%) and is used to meet the growing demand for high-oleic oils. NuSun with ~ 60% oleic acid has been developed in the USA and it is hoped that it will replace regular sunflower oil in that country. In the ten years between 2001/02 and 2011/12, sunflowers have been cultivated on 19-26 million hectares producing 21-40 million tonnes of seed and 7.4-15.1 million tonnes of oil therefrom.

 

Table 1. Production and trade (million tonnes) of sunflower seeds and sunflower seed oil (taken from previous Lipid Library report and USDA 2013 for 2010/11 and 2011/12 figures)
 2006/072007/082008/092009/102010/112011/12
Sunflower seed
Production 30.18 27.02 33.03 31.62 33.46 40.30
Argentina 3.50 4.65 2.90 2.30 3.67 3.34
Russia 6.75 5.65 7.35 6.42 5.35 9.63
Turkey 0.85 0.70 0.83 0.80 1.00 0.92
Ukraine 5.30 4.20 7.00 7.60 8.40 10.50
EU-27 6.48 4.80 6.94 6.91 6.90 8.29
Other 7.30 7.02 8.01 7.59 8.15 7.61
Export 1.80 1.41 2.20 1.57 1.79 2.00
Crush 26.87 24.11 28.65 29.19 29.89 36.71
Sunflower seed oil
Production 10.93 9.85 11.73 12.10 12.29 15.12
Argentina 1.42 1.75 1.44 1.15 1.55 1.43
Russia 2.45 2.13 2.56 2.50 2.08 3.55
Turkey 0.52 0.54 0.51 0.63 0.67 0.72
Ukraine 2.05 1.73 2.63 2.97 3.33 4.35
EU-27 2.22 1.77 2.33 2.59 2.56 2.92
Other 2.26 1.92 2.25 2.25 2.09 2.15
Export 4.24 3.36 4.50 4.49 4.58 6.42
Consumption 10.29 8.94 10.75 11.35 11.55 12.98

Updated: March, 2013