Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil pressed from the seeds of sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. The world’s total production of sunflower oil in 2014 was nearly 16 million tonnes, with Ukraine and Russia as the largest producers.
Sunflower oil is primarily composed of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat, and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. Through selective breeding and manufacturing processes, oils of differing proportions of the fatty acids are produced. The expressed oil has light amber color with a mild flavor. The oil contains a large amount of vitamin E.
As of 2017, genome analysis and development of hybrid sunflowers to increase oil production are under development to meet greater consumer demand for sunflower oil and its commercial varieties.