Saturday, October 30, 2010

Some facts about Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a very commonly used type of oil in our daily cooking, just how much we know about Sunflower oil?

The main producers of Sunflower oil are from Argentina and European Union, 50% of the world’s productions are come from these two areas.

The usages of Sunflower seeds depend highly on their quality. Those with high oil content are used to process into cooking oil. The lower grade ones are the food for birds. Sunflower seeds oil also used in cosmetics products too.

Sunflower oil is pretty stable and able to sustain to high heat, it is well liked by food industries, especially by potatoes chips and snacks food manufacturers.

These are some of the characterisctics of Sunflower oil:

1. It has a very mild taste;
2. Contain high vitamin E and low in saturated fat, a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats;
3. The smoke point is high (able to sustain under high heat);
4. Suitable for deep frying and pan frying;
5. Longer shelf lives as compared to other vegetable oil;

There are the two common types of Sunflower oil being sold in the markets, it depends highly on the genetic and climate of the place where they are produced, check on the labeling before decide which type to buy :

a. High linoleic acid (high in polyunsaturated fat) – Omega 6, low oleic – Omega 9;
b. High oleic (high in monounsaturated fat) , low linoleic.

Generally, high oleic is ideal to keep a good ratio of Omega 6 : Omega 3 in our body. High oleic or mid oleic possess the properties of lowering the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Researches suggested that a high consumption of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer and prostate cancer.

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