Do you ever look on the back of products to review the ingredient labels? These labels sometimes have a list with multiple potential ingredients, naming ingredients like “Safflower, Sunflower AND/OR Canola Oil”.
This happens with lots of oils, including Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Soybean Oil, and Corn Oil. It is especially common when these ingredients are used for cooking or frying. For example, you will often see this sort of “and/or” list on popcorn, chips and other snack foods.
This multi-oil ingredient label (Safflower, Sunflower AND/OR Canola Oil) means that the ingredients that may be used in the product could be Sunflower Oil or Safflower Oil….. but it could also be Canola Oil. Really, it could be a mix of two of them or it could very well be all three. No matter which oil is actually inside the product, it is completely fine because the brand has already listed those ingredients on the ingredient statement as possible choices.
This is a common trend especially with oil ingredients, as they are often commodities and some oils can be easily interchangeable. After all, canola, safflower, sunflower, corn and soy oil all have very similar taste profile: mild and light!
If you are wondering why companies list more than one possible ingredient, there is a good reason behind it: it is very self-preserving. In fact, it can help them save time, money and keep them out of a supply bind down the road.