How Sunflower Oil Is Processed

How Sunflower Oil Is Processed

To know how sunflower oil is processed, one might look at it as similar with other plant oils as well. Extracting the oil from the seeds, and further refining to turn it into a product that we consume and use on daily basis.

How Sunflower Oil Is Processed

Preparation Of The Sunflower Seeds

The seeds are prepared by using magnets to remove any metal debris and impurities that likely got stuck between the seeds, before transferring them for dehulling (cracking the shell) with husk separators and pressed mechanically to form a ‘cake’.

The seed itself, contained as high as 40% of oil with the rest make up in proteins, nutrients, and fibers to name a few.

Oil Extraction

Through the mecahnical process, nearly three quarters of the oil contained in the seed is extracted successfully. This is to ensure that the next step of solvent extraction can be as efficient as possible.

Typically, a solvent used is hexane to wash and recover the remaining oil. Not to worry, the solvents are used in minuted time so they don’t affect the overall quality of sunflower oil.

Desolventizing

The solvent used is then removed from the flakes and the oil, through a distillation process. After separating the oil from hexane, this oil will be added to the ones produced earlier during the mechanical pressing explained previously: this process creates a crude sunflower oil.

The leftover oil is the can be used for the next step, either by further refining to fit with current demand or as a crude oil itself.

Oil Refining And Processing Of Sunflower Oil

To get your sunflower oil to fit for consumption, the oils are further refined to improve color, stability, overall flavor and odor, or perhaps changing it’s chemical or physical characteristics (for example, sunflower oil also can be used for biodiesels and various oleochemicals). This step also removes any contaminants and fatty acids, if need be.

This is how sunflower oil is processed, shown here.

How Sunflower Oil Is Processed
Overall process of sunflower oil processed. Credit: SlideShare

Further reading: Types of sunflower oil, available in the market. And forecast for sunflower oil; a general study.

Reference: 1,2

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