Agricultural Products:

Sunflower Seed

There are two types of sunflower seed produced, oilseed and confectionery. About 95% of world production is the oilseed type and only 5% the confectionery type.

Sunflower seed - CanAsiaThe majority of the oil sunflower seeds in the world are crushed after the hull is removed. The hull represents about 15% of the sunflower seed weight. Dehulled seed yields 45-50% oil and 50-55% meal. The oil is used for frying or to produce salad dressing, shortening and margarine. The mid and high oleic hybrids produce oil for specialized markets. The meal is used as a protein supplement in livestock feed and usually contains about 35% protein. The hulls are used mostly for livestock bedding, with some used as a source of fibre for cattle feed.

Use of oil sunflower seed by the bird seed industry is growing. In Canada, the majority of the oilseed type seed is used by the bird seed industry.

Confectionery type sunflower seeds are used in the snack food industry as roasted sunflower seeds and dehulled for use in snack food and baking. Sunflower seeds are high in protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, and vitamin E. The sunflower seed snacks are usually lightly coated in salt or spices. Some confectionery sunflower seeds are also used for bird seed.

World sunflower seed exports have been variable, in line with the variability in production, ranging from 1.32 to 2.74 Mt during the past four years. Exports are relatively dispersed, with the top 10 countries accounting for about 95% of exports. The European Union (EU) accounts for most of the imports, with Turkey, United States (US), Mexico and Pakistan accounting for most of the balance. (Agri-Canada)