Difference Between Sunflower Oil and Soybean Oil

Oils play an essential role in the body. They help in better functioning of the body and faster absorption of various vitamins. There are various types of oil available in the market for cooking and other applications. The two most popular types of oil are sunflower oil and soybean oil.

Sunflower Oil vs Soybean Oil

The main difference between sunflower oil and soybean oil is that sunflower oil is a type of triglyceride. On the other hand, soybean oil is a type of mild phytoestrogen. Sunflower oil does not have any distinct aroma or taste while soybean oil has a distinct aroma and taste to the oil.

Sunflower Oil and Soybean Oil

Sunflower oil does not undergo the property of free radical-based polymerization and so does not form any solid, hardened structure. The oil contains linoleic acid and oil leak acid as the primary components. The content of saturated fat in the oil is higher.

While soybean oil exhibits the property of free radical-based polymerization and can form a transparent, hard, solid structure, and is extensively used as drying oil. The primary composition of soybean oil is linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, and linolenic acid.

Comparison Table Between Sunflower Oil and Soybean Oil

Parameters of Comparison Sunflower Oil Soybean Oil
Seed typeThe oil is extracted from seeds of Helianthus annuus or sunflowerThe oil is extracted from seeds of Glycine Max or soybean
Type of oil TriglycerideMild phytoestrogen
ColourSunflower oil is light amber in color Soybean oil is faint green or dark yellow in color
Health benefits Sunflower oil prevents arthritis, asthma, colon cancer and has several cardiovascular benefits Soybean oil provides nutritional supplements and is recommended in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Uses In food preparation, as dietary supplements, in seed meal, in the cosmetic industry, as a fuel to run engines and in the horticulture domain In frying baking, salad dressings, drying oils for printing ink and formulating oil paints, as parenteral nutrition in medical uses, and as a fixative for insect repellant activities

What is Sunflower Oil?

Sunflower oil is produced from the seeds of the sunflower that is Helianthus annuus. It is a type of non-volatile oil and is used in different cuisines and the formulation of various cosmetics as an emollient. The primary composition of sunflower oil is linoleic acid and oleic acid. Linolenic acid is a type of polyunsaturated fat while oleic acid is a type of monounsaturated fat.

The taste profile of sunflower oil is neutral. The oil has a high amount of vitamin E in it. As of 2018, Russia and Ukraine produced around 53% of the total production of sunflower oil in the world. There are various developments of hybrid sunflowers which could significantly increase oil production and meet the greater consumer demand for the oil.

Sunflower oil is a type of fat known as a triglyceride. There are mainly four types of sunflower oil that can be produced based on fatty acid concentration. They are high-oleic-containing oil, mid-oleic-containing oil, high-linoleic containing, and high-stearic high-oleic containing oil. The amount of energy obtained from 3.5 oz of sunflower oil is 884 kcal.

The smoke point of sunflower oil is 232 °C in refined form and 107 °C in unrefined form. The density of the oil is 918.8 kg/cubic meter. The saponification value lies in the range of 188 to 194 and contains unsaponifiable matter of around 1.5 to 2.0%.

What is Soybean Oil?

Soybean oil is produced from the seeds of soybean or Glycine max. It is a type of vegetable oil. It is considered the second most used and consumed vegetable oil in the market. It is widely used in different types of cuisines, oil paints and as a drying oil the popular trade names of soybean oil are intralipid, nutrilipid, and others.

The initial production of soybean oil is from Chinese records that date back to 2000 BCE. They cultivated soybeans and produced edible soy oil. The residue which remained was utilized as animal feed and is known as soybean meal. The smoke point of the oil is 234 °C.

The production process of soybean oil includes cracking of the soybeans, adjusting the moisture content, and heating at a temperature of 60 – 88 °C. After the heating process, they are rolled into flakes, and the solvent is extracted. The oil extracted is refined, blended, and even hydrogenated for various applications.

Soybean oil has a high concentration of esters and carboxylic acids. The oil contains polyunsaturates in the form of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, monounsaturates in the form of oleic acid, and saturated fatty acids in the form of palmitic acid and stearic acid. The property of free-radical-based polymerization in soybean oil makes it a waterproof and flexible solid.

Main Differences Between Sunflower Oil and Soybean Oil

  1. Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin K while soybean oil is rich in linolenic acid which is oxidation-prone.
  2. Apart from cooking, sunflower oil is extensively used in cosmetic industries while soybean oil has primary usage in processes of paint manufacturing.
  3. Sunflower oil has comparatively higher saturated fats and contains trans fat while soybean oil has lower saturated fats and no trans fat.
  4. Sunflower oil does not have any taste, flavor, or aroma while soybean oil has a mild flavor, taste, and aroma.
  5. The smoke point of sunflower oil is 232 °C while the smoke point of soybean oil is 234 °C.

Conclusion

Both sunflower oil and soybean oil are common choices as cooking oil. Both the oils have various other functionalities and applications other than cooking. Both the oils are used in various industries. Both have a high smoking point and can be used for different cuisines. Both have a high amount of fats in the oil.

Both sunflower and soybean oil are rich in different vitamins. The users need to evaluate all the points of distinction between both the oils before consumption. Users should also consult a health professional to decide the amount of consumption of each oil.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814610006023
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378382010000688
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