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Unrefined sunflower oil is considered one of the healthiest and most sought-after on the market.

It is obtained by the method of the first cold pressing, which means that the oil completely preserves all vitamins and trace elements, and therefore can be used for dietary and healthy nutrition. Crude unrefined oil is especially appreciated in the EU, and Ukraine is one of the main exporters of this product to European markets.

What is needed to supply unrefined sunflower oil to the EU

According to statistics, Ukraine is the second largest sunflower oil producer for the EU countries. In particular, imports of Ukrainian products account for up to 90% in European countries, which is equal to 2 million tons annually.

Moreover, the supply of this product to other countries has its own characteristics. It is no secret that the EU requirements for the quality of the product are quite high, therefore Ukrainian producers must strictly comply with all production standards. These are the requirements:

• Compliance with export quotas. This means that the priority for the supply of products will be those companies that are the first to apply for export, and whose products comply with EU standards. Another option for entering European markets is to obtain license quotas from the EU Directorate General for Agriculture, although this applies to producers of only a few product groups.
• Compliance with EU standards. It's no secret that European markets have clearly defined product quality standards, but even these can vary from country to country.
Uniform requirements stipulate that sunflower oil must be made from refined and healthy sunflower seeds and must not contain foreign impurities.

The requirements for the indicators of imported oil are as follows:

Indicator name

Characteristics and norm for unrefined oil


"Grid" is allowed over the sediment

Smell and taste

Typical of sunflower oil, without foreign smell, taste and bitterness

Color number, mg of iodine, no more




Acid number, mg KOH, no more


Mass fraction of non-fatty impurities (sediment by weight),%, no more


by volume (acetone method)


Mass fraction of moisture and volatile substances,%, no more


Soap (quality test)


Mass fraction of non-soapable substances,%, no more


Iodine number, g J2 / 100 (Kaufman method) within


Saponification number, mg KOH


Density at 20°С, g / cm3


Refractive index nD20


Peroxide number mmol/kg, no more


Features of import of unrefined sunflower oil

Despite clearly stated requirements for oil, even these standards are undergoing changes. This may negatively affect the work of Ukrainian exporters, experts say. In particular, starting from 2021, in order to supply products to the EU countries, manufacturers will have to monitor the norms for the content of chlorpyrifos-ethyl and chlorpyrifos-methyl in crude sunflower oil and certain oilseeds.
Increased competition from Russia in this area also has a negative effect. In addition, due to uncertainty and the global crisis, supplies may also be in jeopardy. However, for several years, Ukrainian producers have managed to enter the top three in sunflower oil supplies in this direction, and if all requirements are met, it is Ukrainian sunflower oil that EU consumers prefer. That is why Ukrainian manufacturers are advised to continue to increase the rate of production and strictly monitor its quality.

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