Sunflower seeds come in 2 types: the non-oil seeds that are eaten as confectionery products after roasted with the shell or without the shell as kernels, and the oilseeds that are processed into oil and meal which is a by-product of sunflower seed oil extraction primarily used as an ingredient in livestock feed rations.
The first step in processing sunflower is to properly prepare the seed for oil removal. The seed is cleaned using magnets to remove metal and screening to remove impurities that can interfere with the process. The seed can be dehulled by cracking and removing the shell or can be sent to pressing with the shell still intact. Prior to mechanical pressing, the seed is heated and dried. Mechanical pressing removes approximately half to three quarters of the oil prior to solvent extraction.
Gombe State is the major producer of sunflower in Nigeria, and generally, the North East produces more than any other zone of Nigeria.
The nation’s production output in 2019 was 57,000 MT.
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