Sunflower Seeds

Sunflowers are native to North America, and there is evidence that Native Americans were cultivating them 5,000 years ago. Sunflowers were brought to Europe and spread as far as Russia, where they were grown commercially and used for oil.

The commercial varieties came back to North America in the late 1880s.

Confectionary grade sunflower kernels are generally larger, firmer to bite and paler in colour which makes them more suitable for snacking.

Bakery grade kernels are generally smaller, darker and rounder.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO

Macronutrients

  • High in fibre
  • Low in salt

 

Vitamins & Minerals

  • High in Thiamine, Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid
  • High in Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Zinc
COUNTRIES OF ORGIN
  • Bulgaria
  • China
HARVESTED
  • August to September in Bulgaria
    November and December in China
VARIETIES

With over 50 species of sunflower, there are three main commercial types grown: linoleic, high oleic, and NuSun, which is primarily used to produce sunflower oil rather than an eating seed.
High oleic acid varieties command a premium, as oleic acid helps reduce LDL Cholesterol. Sunflower seeds are generally classified by husk pattern; black husk seeds normally go to produce oil, while the striped husks are widely used for snacking because of their distinctive appearance.

FORMATS
  • Natural Hulled
  • Toasted Hulled
  • Flavoured Hulled (as required)
OTHER POINTS TO NOTE

Commercially grown sunflowers are self-pollinators, although beepollinating varieties are said to have better yields.

As they are a fastgrowing crop, many producers will plant them as a secondary crop, after harvesting their main crop.

As sunflower heads track the sun when young, growers looking to maximise their harvest will plant rows in a North-South direction to prevent heads bumping each other and causing seed loss.