Sunflower oil, a common cooking oil, also used to make biodiesel.
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Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient.
Sunflower oil contains predominantly linoleic acid in triglyceride form. The British Pharmacopoeia lists the following profile:
There are several types of sunflower oils produced, such as high linoleic, high oleic and mid oleic. High linoleic sunflower oil typically has at least 69% linoleic acid. High oleic sunflower oil has at least 82% oleic acid. Variation in fatty acid profile is strongly influenced by both genetics and climate.
Sunflower oil also contains lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes. Sunflower oil's properties are typical of a vegetable triglyceride oil. Sunflower oil is produced from oil type sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil is light in taste and appearance and has a high Vitamin E content. It is a combination of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels.
Sunflower oil is liquid at room temperature. The refined oil is clear and slightly amber-colored with a slightly fatty odor.
As a frying oil, sunflower oil behaves as a typical vegetable triglyceride. In cosmetics, it has smoothing properties and is considered noncomedogenic. Only the high-oleic variety possesses shelf life sufficient for commercial cosmetic formulation. Sunflower oil's INCI name is Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.