The sunflower is one of the most important and common crops in Ukraine. The name “sunflower” speaks for itself. Big blossoms of sunflower and bright, radiant petals really resemble the sun. In addition, the sunflower has the unique ability to turn itself to the sun. He loves fertile soil, light and does not tolerate with frost. The more sunny and warm days are, the more oil is in seeds. Therefore, the most common sunflower cultivation is in the southern regions of our country. Sunflower is a very “greedy” culture. For one season he take all the “juices” from the soil. As a rule, the flower can be planted in the same field only after 7-8 years. In general, the sunflower occupies more than 4 thousand hectares in Ukraine. But due to the long period of crop rotation, this number varies greatly. Accordingly, the amount of raw materials for the production of the sunflower oil change from year to year, which is the main factor that affects the price of the finished product.
The quality of the oil depends on the quality of the sunflower seeds entering the processing, terms and conditions of storage of seeds to spin. The main quality characteristics for sunflower seed are oil contence, humidity, the terms of the ripening. Oil contence depends on the variety of the sunflower and how warm and sunny the summer was. The higher the oil contence of sunflower seeds is, the higher is the oil production. Optimal humidity percentage of the sunflower seeds entering the processing is 6%. Wet seeds are stored more complicated. The ripening in our climate is a very important factor, which indirectly affects the price of the oil. The peak of production is in October – December. A peak of demand is in the end of the summer to the early autumn. Accordingly, the earlier sunflower seeds are received for processing, the faster the finished product will go to the consumer. In addition, seeds which are entering the processing must be well cleaned, trash contence shall not exceed 1%, and broken grain – 3%. Before the processing, there are also done additional cleaning, drying, the destruction of the skin and the division of the seeds from the core. Then the seeds are milled so it become the pulp.
The vegetable oil from sunflower seed pulp is obtained by 2 methods – by wringing out or by extraction. Wringing out is a more ecological way. But the amount of oil you get , of course, is smaller. Typically, before wringing out, the pulp is heated at 100-110 ° C in braziers, mixing and wetting at the same time. Then fried pulp is squeezed in screw presses. The readiness depends on the pressure, its viscosity and density, thickness of the pulp, the length of wringing out and other factors. Oils, which are obtained by hot pressing, are more intensely flavored and colored due to decomposition products which are being formed during the heating. The cold pressed vegetable oils are obtained from the pulp without heating. The advantage of this oil – it preserves nutrients: antioxidants, vitamins, lecithin. The negative point – this product can’t be stored for a long time, it quickly becomes turbid and bitter. The oilcake, which is remaining after squeezing the oil, can be subjected to extraction or can be used in livestock. Sunflower oil, obtained by extraction, is called “raw” because it is only gets filtered. This oil has a high taste and nutritional abilities.
The production of the sunflower oil by using the extraction method involves the use of organic solvents (usually gasoline extraction) and is held in a special apparatus – extractor. During extraction we get mistsella – tincture of the oil and the solid non-fat solvent residue. The oil, which is ready, is being held up, filtered and is being sent to the future processing. The extraction method of obtaining the oil is more economical, because it allows to extract the maximum amount of fat from the raw materials – up to 99%.
The oil, which is being refined, almost doesn’t have any color, flavor or scent. That kind of oil is also called impersonal. Its nutritional value is determined only by the presence of essential fatty acids (mainly linoleic and linolenic), also known as vitamin F. This vitamin is responsible for the synthesis of hormones to maintain immunity. It provides firmness and elasticity of blood vessels, reduces the sensitivity to UV rays and radiation, regulates smooth muscle contraction, performs many vital functions.
During the vegetable oil production, there are some phases of refining
Getting rid of impurities – sedimentation, filtration and centrifugation, after what vegetable oil is being sold as an unrefined.
The removing of phosphatides or hydration – the processing with a small amount of hot (70 ° C) water. As a result, protein and mucous substances that can cause rapid deterioration of oil, swell, precipitateand are being removed. Neutralization is the influence on heated oil by the base. At this point, free fatty acids are being removed, which are the oxidation catalyst and are the cause of the smoke during the frying. Also on that phase of neutralization there are being removed heavy metals and pesticides. The unrefined oil has slightly lower biological value than a raw one, because during the hydration process the phosphatides are being removed, but it stores longer. Such a processing makes the clear vegetable oil, which is called hydrated.
The withdrawal of the free fatty acids. When there is an overflow of that acids, an unpleasant taste appears. The oils, which went through this three phases are called refined non-deodorized.
Whitening – the processing of the oil adsorbents of organic origin (mainly special clays), then the fat is illuminated. The pigments come to the oil from seeds and also provoke the oxidation of the finished product. After the whitening, the pigments are being removed, including carotenoids, and it becomes light-colored.
Deodorization – the removal of aromatics by the influence on the sunflower oil using the hot dry steam at a temperature of 170-230 ° C in a vacuum. During this process, odorous substances are being destroyed what also lead to the oxidation. The removal of the undesirable impurities makes it possible to increase the expiration date of the oil.
Freeze -the removing of the wax. Wax is covering all the seeds: a kind of protection from environmental factors. Wax gives oil turbidity, especially during the sale on the street in the cold season, which spoils its appearance. In the process of freezing, the oil becomes colorless.
Having passed all the phases, vegetable oil becomes impersonal. Using this product, the margarine, mayonnaise, cooking oils are being manufactured and is used in conserving. It should not have a specific taste or smell, not to spoil the overall flavor. And on the shelves of the supermarkets the sunflower oil reach by the following forms:
The sunflower oil has a limited expiration date. The expiration date of the oil, packaged in bottles, is 4 months – for unrefined and 6 months – for refined. For poured oil- up to 3 months. By buying the TM “Maslyana’s” sunflower oil ” in a bottle, you won’t face any troubles: the unexpected leakage of the oil in the bag, the purchase of defective goods and so on. All the packaged in bottles oil contain all the necessary information about the product and is hygienically clean. Modern technologies of packed sunflower oil production of TM “Maslyana” almost exclude the handwork. Everything is done on an automated line – quickly, efficiently, accurately. The plastic, which the bottles are blown with, is sturdy, lightweight and environmentally friendly. The bottles are hermetically sealed, the shape of the bottles are optimized with customer’s requests and has convenient notches, the relief surface, which doen’t allow the bottle to slip in hand.