Sunflower oil is one of the classics among cooking oils. After rapeseed oil, it is the most popular vegetable oil in the German kitchen: around 52 million litres of sunflower oil were purchased by private households in 2015. The reason for this is probably that sunflower oil is versatile, has a neutral, pleasant taste and is also very healthy.
Sunflower oil is produced from the seeds of sunflowers. The seeds are pressed in various processes and finally produce the light yellow, nutty sunflower oil. In this guide, you can find out how different sunflower oils differ and which one is best for you.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Sunflower Oil: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for sunflower oil
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about sunflower oil answered in detail
- 6 Conclusion
- Sunflower oil is available as cold-pressed or refined oil. While refined sunflower oil is good for frying and baking, cold-pressed oil is more commonly used for cold dishes.
- Cold-pressed sunflower oil has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. It is therefore part of a balanced and healthy diet. Therefore, it is part of a balanced and healthy diet.
- When buying sunflower oil, you should pay attention to the production process, the content of unsaturated fatty acids, the intended use and the packaging of the sunflower oil.
The Best Sunflower Oil: Our Picks
Not all sunflower oil is the same. The differences and the choice are great. Nevertheless, there is certainly a sunflower oil for everyone that meets the needs and the desired application.
In the following, we have compiled and compared various sunflower oils. Based on these recommendations and reviews, you will surely find the right sunflower oil for you.
Buying and evaluation criteria for sunflower oil
Which sunflower oil is best for you? To help you decide when buying a sunflower oil, we have compiled various criteria for evaluation. These are:
In the next section, we go through each purchase criterion individually and explain why we place particular emphasis on these points when evaluating sunflower oils.
Like most edible oils, sunflower oil comes in two types: cold-pressed, native sunflower oil and hot-pressed, refined sunflower oil.
The two sunflower oils differ in their production. Refined sunflower oil is obtained by high heating and hot pressing. It then undergoes several purification processes.
Cold-pressed sunflower oil, as the name suggests, is obtained by cold-pressing the sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds are not heated. Therefore, the production is particularly gentle.
Refined sunflower oil is heat-resistant. It has a particularly long shelf life, is neutral in taste and cheaper than cold-pressed sunflower oil. However, due to the production process, it contains hardly any nutrients, as these are lost during the high heating.
Cold-pressed sunflower oils are hardly heat-resistant, but thanks to the gentle production they have a high content of vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids. They also taste slightly nutty. Cold-pressed sunflower oil is mostly virgin, which means that the oil is natural and contains no flavourings or additional substances. This makes cold-pressed oil healthier and more valuable than refined oil.
Content of unsaturated fatty acids
Vegetable oils and especially sunflower oil are usually rich in valuable unsaturated fatty acids. However, individual sunflower oils also differ in their content of unsaturated fatty acids. Cold-pressed oil generally contains more of them than refined oil.
A distinction is made between monounsaturated fatty acids, which can be produced by the body itself, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They must be supplied to the body through food, as they cannot be produced by the body itself.
Unsaturated fatty acids play an important role in cell structure and also lower cholesterol levels. Saturated fatty acids, on the other hand, lead to increased cholesterol levels if consumed in excess.
Therefore, the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids is an important evaluation criterion in our test.
Depending on the properties of sunflower oil, it is more or less suitable for baking, cold dishes, steaming or hot frying.
Of course, everyone must decide for themselves what they want to use the sunflower oil for.
Cold-pressed sunflower oil is best suited for seasoning or preparing cold dishes, while refined sunflower oil is more suitable for baking and frying in a pan.
Sunflower oil, especially cold-pressed sunflower oil, should be stored in a light-protected, cool and airtight container.
Metal bottles or dark-coloured glass bottles are best suited as packaging. If the sunflower oil is unsuitably packaged, it can also be decanted into suitable storage tins or bottles. The main thing is that the oil is well protected from light during storage, because light can destroy the vitamins in sunflower oil.
Plastic packaging is not recommended because on the one hand it does not protect the oil from light. On the other hand, substances can dissolve from the plastic due to incorrect storage.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about sunflower oil answered in detail
In the following, we have compiled frequently asked questions about sunflower oil. So you know everything you need to know before you decide to buy sunflower oil.
What is sunflower oil suitable for?
Cold-pressed, virgin sunflower oil, on the other hand, is not suitable for strong heating. It tastes nutty and goes best with cold dishes, such as salad dressings, mayonnaises, marinades or remoulades. Cold-pressed sunflower oil is also suitable for light sautéing or cooking at low heat, for example for preparing vegetables.
By the way, sunflower oil can not only be used in the kitchen. Because of its good ingredients, it can also be used as a body oil. Cold-pressed oil is best for this.
How healthy is sunflower oil?
Unsaturated fatty acids maintain a normal cholesterol level and support the building of cells and important cell functions.
Cold-pressed sunflower oil is generally even healthier. Due to its gentle production, more nutrients are preserved. In contrast, these are lost in the production of highly heated sunflower oil.
What types of sunflower oil are there?
Sunflower oil also occurs in mixed oils. These consist mainly of sunflower oil mixed with other oils, such as olive or rapeseed oil. Mixed oils are usually cheaper and often more heat-resistant than pure sunflower oil.
There is also a special type of sunflower oil: the so-called high-oleic sunflower oil. This oil is made from the seeds of a certain sunflower variety that have a particularly high oleic acid content. High-oleic oil is therefore very heat-stable and therefore well suited as a frying oil.
Sunflower oil or rapeseed oil - which is better?
On the other hand, rapeseed oil contains more unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. In general, both oils have individual good qualities and are best suited for a healthy, balanced diet.
How is old sunflower oil disposed of properly?
The bottle can also be wrapped with paper or kitchen roll to prevent a greasy film from forming in the waste bin.
Small amounts of sunflower oil can be disposed of down the drain. However, too much oil in the drain will lead to blockages in the sewage pipe.
It is not for nothing that sunflower oil is one of the most popular cooking oils in German cuisine. It is versatile and suitable for preparing almost any dish.
Just make sure to use the appropriate sunflower oil for each use: refined sunflower oil for frying, baking and deep-frying, cold-pressed sunflower oil for dressing salads, other cold dishes and for light sautéing.
Thanks to its high content of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, sunflower oil contributes to a healthy and balanced diet. The most important criteria when deciding on a purchase are the intended use and the quality of the product.
(Cover photo: Bruno/Germany / Pixabay )