To grow best, sunflowers need full sun and fertile, moist, well-drained soil. The harvest is done mechanically, using machines called combines. These machines clip the heads of the sunflowers and separate the seeds from the unwanted matter. Once collected, sunflower seeds are taken to the processing plant for cleaning, mechanical hulling if desired, and packaging.
Sunflower kernels are a cost-efficient way to add taste, texture and eye appeal to a variety of bakery products and snack selections. Sunflower seeds in shell are an increasingly popular and nutritious snacking choice around the world, both raw and roasted and salted. Another well-known application is sunflower oil, used for cooking due to its lightness compared to olive oil.