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Cold-Pressed Sunflower Oil

Everyone is familiar with Olive oil and vegetable oil but we don’t know what to do with Sunflower oil.

Talking to Eastern Europeans at the farmers markets they are very familiar with cold pressed sunflower oil. They say that Ostro Organics Sunflower Oil is just like the oil they had at home. Wow! One would think that Sunflower oil came from Europe to North America. The truth is quite different.

The History of Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil History

Sunflowers are a native North American plant and it is believed that sunflowers were the first domesticated crop by Native Americans, even  before corn. The Sunflower seed was an important part of the diet and the seed was squeezed for the oil to be used in making bread

So why is sunflower oil better known in Eastern Europe than in Canada?

In the 1500’s early Spanish explorers took this native exotic plant to Europe as an ornamental flower. In the 1800’s the medicinal and culinary uses of sunflower oil became known. Sunflower oil began to be commercially produced by 1830 in Russia. Sunflower oil was and is widely used in Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries.

From Russia the sunflower came to Canada. As the sunflower was in important crop in Russia, the Russian immigrants to Canada brought it with them back to North America. The first sunflower crushing plant was apparently built in 1946. The sunflower oil story has continued from there. References and more Info.

However, not all sunflower oils are the same. There are many different varieties of sunflower oil seeds and there are different ways of processing the seeds to obtain the oil. These different variations result in very different oils.

Ostro Organics Sunflower Oil starts with an organic sunflower seed which is grown using organic farming methods. No herbicide or pesticides are used. The resulting crop is dried on the field and stored until ready to be pressed. The seeds are extra cold pressed. This means that the seeds are slowly squeezed without added heat until the oil is slowly released. The only heat used is from friction as the seeds are slowly squeezed together. The temperature is monitored to ensure the highest quality oil. We let the freshly pressed oil settle so that the fine particles of the sunflower seeds float to the bottom. We avoid any sort of mechanical filtration and do not remove the nutritious particles. The highly nutritious oil sludge is used in our vegan sunflower butter. Adding flavour and nutrients.

Taste of Fresh Ostro Organics Sunflower Oil

As a result of our extra cold-pressing technique you can actually taste the pure and natural unrefined oil with a distinct earthy sunflower seed taste. It has a light nutty and buttery flavour. Deliciously used raw or in low heat cooking. Drizzle over steamed vegetables, toss with pasta or use in a salad dressing. Enjoy great flavour when sautéing, roasting and baking.

Cooking with Cold-Pressed Sunflower Oil

Types Of Sunlower Oil: High Oleic vs. Mid Oleic vs. Linoleic

The Basic Differences

The difference between each type of sunflower oil is a result of the balance between the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in the oil, which are linoleic acid and oleic acid, respectively. Each differ in oleic and linoleic chemical levels in the oil, as a result of the seeds that are grown. 

High oleic oils are considered the most healthy, and have the most monosaturated fat (oleic) that makes up the oil. Linoleic is comprised of more polyunsaturated fats (considered a less healthy fat) and mid-oleic falls somewhere in between.

Keep in mind, all types of Sunflower Oil are non-GMO. There are currently no GM varieties available, making this a low-risk ingredient if you are getting your product Non-GMO Project Verified.

Linoleic Sunflower Oil

Traditional sunflower oils have fallen into two categories, one high in oleic acid and the other high in linoleic acid. We’re going to first approach the oil that’s high in linoleic acid.

Linoleic acid is one of the essential fatty acids in the human diet, and linoleic varieties of sunflower oil contain nearly 70 percent polyunsaturated fat (linoleic acid). Another 20 percent is in monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), and the remaining 10 to 11 percent is saturated fat.

It is now produced in very small volumes in North America, because of it’s limitations in fried and processed foods. It is, however, the traditional type of sunflower oil that’s been produced for many years.

High-Oleic Sunflower Oil

High-oleic sunflower oil is radically different than linoleic in its makeup. It consists primarily of monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), at around 80+ percent of the total. Saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (linoleic acid) make up the balance, in equal proportions. 

Bulk high-oleic sunflower oil is important in the manufacture of food products, because it remains stable without hydrogenation and will not go rancid in long-term storage. This makes switching from bulk linoleic to bulk high-oleic sunflower oil an easy way for manufacturers to reduce trans fats and increase their shelf life limitations.

This high oleic sunflower oil is preferred by food manufacturers because of it’s added stability and neutral taste profile. It’s an ideal oil for frying, baking and other high heat applications.

High oleic sunflower oil can be produced through expeller pressing methods or solvent extraction, so make sure that you confirm which type you are looking for with your supplier.


Mid-Oleic Sunflower Oil

Mid-oleic sunflower oil is the most common type of sunflower oil available in the US and Canada. It is considered the ‘standard’ sunflower oil in North America. Furthermore it’s available in large volumes and is reasonably price competitive with other oils like canola and soybean oil.

Mid-oleic sunflower oil takes a middle position between the two traditional oils, with oleic acid accounting for roughly two-thirds of the fat content (65%), polyunsaturated linoleic acid at roughly 25 percent, and about 10 percent saturated fat. Mid-oleic oil retains high enough levels of linoleic acid to remain an excellent dietary source, but the relatively high levels of oleic acid make it less prone to rancidity and breaking down, eliminating any need for hydrogenation and the resulting trans fat. 

This is typically the sunflower oil that you will buy at a retail store. It is most often a solvent expelled oil.

Nutrition facts for different sunflower oils

All sunflower oils are 100% fat and contain vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that protects cells from age-related damage.

Sunflower oils do not contain protein, carbs, cholesterol, or sodium (8Trusted Source).


Sunflower oils with more oleic acid are higher in monounsaturated fat and lower in polyunsaturated fat.


Sunflowers come in a wide range of sizes and colors. Some of the most popular garden sunflowers include:

  • Mammoth – the giant of garden sunflowers. This heirloom plant grows up to 12-feet tall and features huge 12-inch wide blooms with abundant seeds. Quick growth makes for a perfect hedge, screen or sunforest for children. Plant seeds 1-inch deep and space 2-feet apart for the best results.
  • Autumn Beauty – a vibrant choice for flower gardens. The bold flowers feature 8-inch wide blooms in bright yellow, bronze and purple combinations. Growing up to 4-feet tall and featuring multiple branches, Autumn Beauty makes an excellent cut flower for floral arrangements. Also known as the common sunflower, the plant has edible flower buds which are delicious when battered and fried. Seeds should be planted 2-inches deep and spaced 18-inches apart.
  • Moulin Rouge – not your typical sunflower. The dark red petals only have a slight hint of yellow at their base, which is highlighted by an ebony center. It’s a reliable bloomer and easy to grow. Reaching only 4-feet tall, the dark blooms are just 4-inches wide. Moulin Rouge is an excellent cut flower because it is pollenless.
  • Teddy Bear – features fully double, fluffy flowers reaching up to 6 inches in diameter. Without the flat center, the bright deep yellow flowers look like large powder puffs. This dwarf sunflower is ideal for borders and containers. Plant in groups of 3 to 4 seeds at a depth of ½ inch. Thin to one inch once seedlings are three weeks old.

The main chemical constituents of Sunflower Carrier Oil are Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, and Stearic Acid.

Sunflower Seed Oil is a healthy combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and low levels of saturated fat. Oil sunflowers are generally classified based on their oleic (monounsaturated fat) content.  The primary commercial oilseed hybrid categories are:

High Oleic = oleic levels greater than 82%
NuSun = oleic levels 55-75%

High Oleic
Cobalt II
N4H302 E
N4H470 CLP
N4H521 CL

Camaro II
Talon (multiple market)

These varieties have different trades depending on where you harvest, you look for different disease resistance,disease tolerance,  plant height, oleic acid content, stalk and root strength, adoption to environments etc.


The main chemical constituents of Sunflower Carrier Oil are Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, and Stearic Acid.

LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-6) are known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Help slow the look of aging by sustaining skin elasticity and softness

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that eliminate dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin

As illustrated, Sunflower Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Softening, Astringent, Moisturizing, Conditioning, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, Clarifying, Brightening
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Microbial, Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, Immune-Enhancing, Energy-Boosting, Anti-Inflammatory

Tips for Healthy Fats

Now that sunflower oil has been properly dissected, you’ll want some positive tips on bringing healthier fats into your life.

Tip #1: Eat and Cook With Super Fats

Sunflower oil — even the high-oleic variety — is not a super-food. But other fats do qualify, such as:

  1. Coconut oil: Rich in medium-chain triglycerides (a keto-friendly SFA) and lauric acid
  2. Raw Sesame Seed Oil
  3. Hazelnut Oil
  4. Walnut Oil

Cooking with stable, healthy fats — and preventing fatty acid oxidation — is easy. Anything with a high SFA, high MUFA, and low PUFA content will do.

Tip #2: Be Savvy at Restaurants

Most restaurants use high-linoleic vegetable oil to cook your food, which means that they’re feeding you oxidized lipids. 

To avoid damaged fats, find a restaurant that will cook your meal in coconut oil or extra virgin cold-pressed oils instead. 

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