While the vibrant, strong sunflower is recognised worldwide for its beauty, it is also an important source of food. Sunflower oil is a valued and healthy vegetable oil and sunflower seeds are enjoyed as a healthy, tasty snack and nutritious ingredient to many foods.
Sunflower oil is obtained from the seeds within the brown hub in the centre of the sunflower plant - Helianthus Annuus. Each flower can develop up to 2000 sunflower seeds. The oil is pale yellow in colour but contains a level of natural waxes that give the oil a 'cloudy' appearance at cooler temperatures. These waxes can be removed by a process commonly known as winterisation.
The wild sunflower is native to North America but commercialisation of the plant took place in Russia. Evidence suggests that the plant was cultivated by Indians in present-day Arizona and New Mexico about 3000 BC. Some archaeologists suggest that sunflower may have been domesticated before corn. The sunflower plant was taken to Europe by Spanish explorers some time around 1500 but it was in 1716, an English patent was granted for squeezing oil from sunflower seed.
Nowadays, the crop is predominant in Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Argentina and the USA. The seed contains 40-45% oil. There are now two other types of sunflower available - High Oleic and Mid Oleic. These were developed with standard breeding techniques and differ in oleic levels with each one offering unique properties.
Standard sunflower oil is available as a liquid salad oil and is used in margarine and shortening applications. Home users find it an excellent choice for any liquid oil application such as dressings.
The typical composition of sunflower oil is (%):
Because of the high levels of polyunsaturated fats in standard sunflower oil, the oil is susceptible to oxidation during commercial usage, especially frying.
High oleic sunflower oil is premium sunflower oil with minimum levels of 80% monounsaturated fatty acids. It is used in food and industrial applications where high monounsaturated levels are required.
The oil has excellent stability without the need for hydrogenation. High oleic sunflower oil offers a trans free oil solution for customers. The oil has many uses including bakery applications, spray coating oils for cereal, crackers and dried fruit; it is used in non-dairy creamers, many types of frying and other uses.
Mid-oleic sunflower oil is fairly new to the market and was developed by standard hybrid procedures.
We are especially grateful to the following NEODA members for directly contributing funds to run National Fish and Chip Day this year:- Middletons; VA Whitley; ADM (Trading); AAK; Kerry; Friars Pride; Blakemans; Henry Colbeck; JL Owen, Vandemoortele, Duncrue, Drywite and Kassero.
Fish and Chip lovers across the UK are coming together on Friday 2 June to once again celebrate the nation’s favourite dish and NEODA are proud to be organising this special day again. Following the phenomenal success of the event last year, National Fish & Chip Day 2017 will see people throughout the country celebrating their love of the this iconic meal from fish & chip shops, pub chains, restaurants, retailers, to the fishermen and farmers who provide the sustainable and natural ingredients used to create it. We want to help Fish & Chip shops across the UK benefit from this awareness day and can offer advice on decorating your shops, running special promotions and competitions and generally creating a huge buzz about fish and chips. We are preparing an information pack with guidance on how to get the most from social media and your local and regional press with logos, images and press release templates available for you to use. All this helps to raise awareness, which in turn drives footfall to your shops. In 2016 #nationalfishandchipday began trending on Twitter and Facebook at 9.30 in the morning and the broadcast and print media coverage achieved helped make the footfall experienced by fish & chip shops one of the highest of the year, with some saying it was even busier than Good Friday. More than 28 million people saw, heard or read about National Fish & Chip Day! 2017 looks set to exceed these results and we want to give you support and insight to turn this into a very special Fryday!
Following fierce competition in the UK's best Fish and Chip Shop competition, huge congratulations go to the winner of the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop for 2017 - Kingfisher Fish and Chips, Plymouth. Huge congratulations to both Nikki and Craig from all the NEODA members.