The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus). The term “sunflower seed” is actually a misnomer when applied to the seed in its pericarp (hull). Botanically speaking, it is more properly referred to as an achene. When dehulled, the edible remainder is called the sunflower kernel or heart.
- Sunflower seeds are usually classified by the pattern on their husks. If the husk is solid black, the seeds are called black oil sunflower seeds.
- The crops may be referred to as oilseed sunflower crops. These seeds are usually pressed to extract their oil.
- Striped sunflower seeds are primarily used for food; as a result, they may be called confectionery sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds serve as a healthy snack as part of the meal. They can be used as garnishes and sold in shell seeds. They can also be sprouted and eaten in salads. Additionally, the hulls are composed of cellulose. They decompose and burn as biomass fuel. Sunflower seeds’ oil is typically extracted by applying great pressure to the sunflower seeds and collecting the oil. The protein-rich cake remaining after the seeds have been processed for oil is used as livestock feed.