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Sunflower Oil Popcorn

Sunflower Seeds Sunflower oil popcorn is not at all common but some folks swear by it as a popcorn oil. The sunflower is a flowering plant from the Americas that is well known for its large bright yellow blooms that look like the sun. Its seeds are a popular snack food that is nutritious and also a source of sunflower oil.

This vegetable fat is used in the cosmetic industry as moisturizer. It is also a cooking ingredient most commonly used for frying thanks to its high smoke point of 437 degrees F. First produced in the early 1800's, sunflower oil is now a leading product of Russia and Ukraine.

High oleic sunflower oil is always the best choice when buying this kind of vegetable fat. A good brand to try is High Oleic Virgin Sunflower Oil by Vitolio. It is produced using age old mechanical methods and does not use any chemical extractions. Aside from this it contains high amounts of monounsaturated fat, omega 9 and omega 6. However, this brand of sunflower oil is pricier than others in the market.

Those looking for something much more affordable, go for Certified Organic Flora Sunflower Oil. Being organic, it comes from naturally grown sunflower seeds that are cold pressed. The extracted oil is unrefined and nitrogen-flushed to help keep it fresh. This carries a mild butter flavor that is pleasant and not overpowering. To help keep the oil from becoming rancid, it is best kept refrigerated.

La Tourangelle Organic Sunflower Oil is a good mid-priced choice in terms of price. This European made sunflower oil is an excellent alternative to the usual store brands. The good heat resistance provided by it allows for a good crisp fry. The high heat temperatures are also ideal for sunflower oil popcorn cooking. Organic and hypoallergenic, this brand has a good flavor as well.

More On Sunflower Oil Popcorn

Classified as a triglyceride it is composed of stearic acid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid. Different types of oil can be produced from sunflower seeds according to the kind of seeds used for extraction.

The most common types of sunflower oil around include high oleic, mid oleic and high linoleic oils. High oleic oil has about 80% of monounsaturated fatty acid in it, while mid oleic oil contains 55 to 75%. Linoleic sunflower oil on the other hand has more or less 60% linoleic fatty acid and 20% oleic fatty acid.

How Sunflower Oil is Made

The earliest production of sunflower oil was done through the grinding of seeds into flour with a mortar and pestle. Modern methods begin with the cleaning and washing of seeds. These are then dried out and warmed to help with the production of oil. Once this is done the seeds can be pressed for oil using an expelling machine or a ram press. As with other types of vegetable oils, further extraction and refining can be done with the help of solvents and other chemical treatments.

Sunflower Oil Nutrition Value

As said earlier, the amount of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats will differ according to the type of sunflower oil produced. Generally speaking, this vegetable fat is seen as healthy by experts. Standard sunflower oil will contain about 3, 699 kJ of energy for every 100 gram serving. As for fats, it will contain 10.3 grams saturated fat, 19.5 grams monounsaturated fat and 65.7 grams polyunsaturated fat. Along with this, it also has vitamins E and K.

Advantages of Use

  • Low Trans Fat - a number of major food companies use sunflower oil for food production due to the low trans fat content. Using it for sunflower oil popcorn cooking will no doubt result in popcorn with lower trans fat content as well.
  • Nutritional Value - aside from fatty acids, this oil also contains a good number of vitamins including D, A, K and E. High oleic sunflower oil also contains a good amount of good fat that is great for the heart.
  • Price - sunflower oil has a very competitive price and is quite affordable compared to other oils in the market. This makes it ideal for use with cooking in large quantities.

Disadvantages of Use

  • Flavor - this vegetable oil does not contain any specific taste with it. Those looking for something nutty, robust or even slightly sweet will not find it if they go with sunflower oil popcorn cooking.
  • Aldehydes - some studies show that sunflower oil can produce this organic compound when heated to temperatures fit for frying. The consumption of aldehydes can result in some neurodegenerative illnesses.
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