Unrefined sunflower oil rightfully occupies one of the main niches in Ukrainian exports.
It is distinguished by its benefits for the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous and circulatory systems, as well as the possibility of using it not only in nutrition. In recent years, Europe has only been increasing imports of unrefined first cold-pressed product, and therefore producing countries have to compete intensely for a “place in the sun”.
The largest producers of unrefined sunflower oil
Ukraine, according to statistics, ranks second in the supply of unrefined oil to the EU countries. In general, up to 60% of oil or 2 million tons is imported from Ukraine every year. This favorably distinguishes our manufacturers against the background of other world suppliers, creating a demand for the Ukrainian product. It is no secret that it is Ukrainian sunflowers that have excellent quality and taste characteristics, which certainly attracts world buyers.
As of 2019, 778.9 thousand tons were produced in Ukraine. of this product. The five largest manufacturers include the following enterprises:
- Dnepropetrovsk Oil Extraction Plant – 16.1%
- Dalta Wilmar Ukraine – 13.6%
- Poltava Oil Extraction Plant – 11.8%
- Oliyar – 7.7%
- Prikolotnyanskiy MEZ – 6.7%
In general, the world trade in sunflower is currently experiencing an upswing – after the crisis of 2014-2015, sales are only increasing, and with them the demand for specifically Ukrainian producers of this product is growing.
Experts believe that, despite the popularity of sunflower oil, the need for growing sunflower seeds should decrease – all due to low profitability. The same rapeseed or soybeans are currently more profitable for cultivation, although sunflower also ranks third in this list. Sunflower prices are very much tied to the cost of sunflower oil, so it is necessary to calculate profitability based on these indicators. In addition, another benchmark for calculating profitability is oil prices, which increases the cost of sunflower oil.
Also negatively affects prices and competition between factories. However, despite this, Ukraine still retains its leadership in the export of sunflower oil, even taking into account the current requirements for product certification. In particular, from 2020, documents for sunflower oil will be taken even more seriously, and, among other indicators, the norms of chlorperiphos-ethyl and chlorperiphos-methyl in the finished product will also be checked. However, experts believe that these features should not affect the overall export of the Ukrainian product.
In order to obtain unrefined sunflower oil, the seeds are processed as follows:
- Raw materials are cleared of husks, as well as coarse impurities such as small stones or sand that could get into the total mass during the collection of seeds.
- Using an oil press, the raw material is ground in a bowl and squeezed out.
- As a result, crude oil and cake (cake) are obtained. The cake can be pressed for sale in briquettes, and it is advised to do this immediately after receiving the oil.
- The oil is filtered and settled. Thanks to this, the product is cleaned of foreign impurities and aromas, as well as free fatty acids and phospholipids.
- The product is bottled and packaged.
This process of sunflower processing can be carried out both at home, bypassing some stages, and in factories using special equipment.