این روغن، یکی از روغنهای رایجی است که برای سرخ کردن و پختوپز مواد غذایی، کاربرد گستردهای دارد. پس از آن که از دانهٔ آفتابگردان روغن گرفتند، کنجاله آن را برای خوراک دام مورد استفاده قرار میدهند.
امروزه دانه گلهای آفتابگردان را تغییرات ژنتیکی دادهاند و با استفاده از اصلاح نباتات، بذرهای مرغوبتر و در نتیجه، گلهای بهتری تولید کردهاند که هم بارآوری بهتر داشته و هم در برابر بیماریها و آفتهای گیاهی مقاومتر باشند.
روغن آفتابگردان حاوی اسیدهای چرب اشباع شده (۵ تا ۱۶ درصد) بوده و باقی اشباع نشده میباشد.
مقایسه با دیگر روغنها[ویرایش]
Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil compressed 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 was first industrially produced in 1835 in the Russian Empire. The world's largest sunflower oil producers now are Ukraine, Russia and Argentina.
Sunflower oil is a monounsaturated (MUFA)/polyunsaturated (PUFA) mixture of mostly oleic acid (omega-9)-linoleic acid (omega-6) group of oils. The oil content of the seed ranges from 22 to 36% (average, 28%): the kernel contains 45–55% oil. The expressed oil is of light amber color with a mild and pleasant flavor; refined oil is pale yellow. Refining losses are low and the oil has good keeping qualities with light tendency for flavor reversion. The oil contains appreciable quantities of vitamin E, sterols, squalene, and other aliphatic hydrocarbons.
In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for sunflower crops such as sunflower oil. Measures such as the development of hybrid sunflowers to increase oil production have been introduced to meet this demand.
Several types of sunflower oils are produced, such as high linoleic, high oleic and mid oleic. Mid-oleic sunflower oil typically has at least 69% oleic acid. High oleic sunflower oil has at least 82% oleic acid. Variation in unsaturated fatty acids profile is strongly influenced by both genetics and climate. In the last decade, high stearic sunflower lines have been developed in Spain to avoid the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in the food industry.
Sunflower oil is high in the essential vitamin E and low in saturated fat. The two most common types of sunflower oil are linoleic and high oleic. Linoleic sunflower oil is a common cooking oil that has high levels of polyunsaturated fat. It is also known for having a clean taste and low levels of trans fat. High oleic sunflower oils are classified as having monounsaturated levels of 80% and above. Newer versions of sunflower oil have been developed as a hybrid containing linoleic acid. They have monounsaturated levels lower than other oleic sunflower oils. The hybrid oil also has lower saturated fat levels than linoleic sunflower oil.
The phosphatides (0.1–0.2%) present in the oil are lecithin (38.5%) and cephalin (61.5%); they occur in combination with protein and carbohydrates.
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. Unrefined sunflower oil is a traditional salad dressing in Eastern European cuisines. Sunflower oil is also an ingredient in sunflower butter.
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.
Sunflower oil can be used to run diesel engines when mixed with diesel in the tank. Sunflower oil is also a great source of biodiesel. Mid-oleic and High oleic sunflower oils are able to produce better quality biodiesel. Due to the high levels of unsaturated fats, there is lesser coagulation and clumping in cold temperatures. 
Several varieties of sunflower oilseeds have been developed by standard plant breeding methods, mainly to vary the amount of oleic acid and linoleic acid which, respectively, are the predominant monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in sunflower oil.
While the original oilseed was high in linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated ω-6 fatty acid, a premium high oleic acid strain was developed in the late twentieth century. Early in the 21st century, a mid-oleic strain marketed as Nu-Sun was introduced as an improved frying oil that would have a low level of saturated fat, but would not require hydrogenation. These three major strains have been purposely bred to differ in their levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, saturated fat and tocopherols. All seed hybrids and the resulting different sunflower oils are mostly devoid of essential nutrients, with the notable exception of vitamin E which is high in content in all varieties (nutrient tables).
Restaurant and food industry uses
Refined oil can be used for low-to-extremely-high-temperature cooking (e.g., frying). It may also help food stay fresher and healthier for longer periods of time. A number of common snack foods currently contain sunflower oil, including NewYork Fries French fries, Majans bhuja Mix healthy snacks, the Sri Lankan style Bombay Mix - Rani Mix, Kettle Chips, Sun Chips, Sunflower Chips, Ruffles, Walkers and Lay's potato chips. The recipe of Lay's potato chips was modified in late 2006 to use sunflower oil as the only frying oil; by 2009, the recipe again included other "natural oils".
Health applications and folk medicine
Preparation and storage
Because sunflower oil is primarily composed of healthier-but-less-stable polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, it can be particularly susceptible to degradation by heat, air, and light (which trigger and accelerate oxidation. Keeping sunflower oil at low temperatures during manufacture and storage can help minimize rancidity and nutrient loss -- as can storage in bottles that are made of either darkly-colored glass, or, plastic that has been treated with an ultraviolet light protectant.
Methods of extraction
Sunflower oil can be extracted using chemical solvents (e.g., hexane), or expeller pressing (i.e., squeezed directly from sunflower seeds by crushing them). "Cold-pressing"/expeller-pressing sunflower seed oil under low-temperature conditions is a preferred method, for those seeking an extraction process that doesn't involve chemical solvents, as well as for people following a raw foods diet.
Refined versus unrefined
Refining sunflower oil through solvent extraction, de-gumming, neutralization, and bleaching can make it more stable and suitable for high-temperature cooking; but, will also remove some of the oil's nutrients; flavor; color (resulting in a pale-yellow); free fatty acids; phospholipids; polyphenols; and, phytosterols. Unrefined sunflower oil is less heat-stable (and therefore well-suited to dishes that are either raw or cooked at low temperatures); but, will retain more of its original nutrient content, flavor, and color (light-amber).