There are numerous choices of cooking oils and cottonseed oil is one among them. It is one of the most popular and widely used vegetable oil. You can find out much more about this oil in this article.
What is Cottonseed Oil?
Cottonseed Oil is the oil extracted from the seeds of various species of cotton plants. Generally, there is 18% oil content in cottonseeds. It is pale yellow in color and is widely used for cooking. Cottonseed comes after Soybean, Corn and Canola (rapeseed) in the list of genetically modified crops.
Various species of cotton is grown all around the world. The Gossypium herbaceum and Gossypium hirsutum species are more generally used to extract oil. But it should be mentioned that most of the cotton production of the US is used in the textile industry.
Cottonseed Oil Composition
The fatty acid profile of Cottonseed oil generally contains 70% unsaturated fatty acids. The oil contains:
- Palmitic acid: 22-26%
- Linoleic acid: 49-58%
- Oleic acid: 15-20%
- Arachidic / behenic and lignoceric acid: 10%
Cottonseed oil is described as a “naturally hydrogenated” substance by scientists. This is due to the fact that the saturated fatty acids in it are natural palmitic, myristic and stearic acids. They make it possible to use it as frying oil without additional processing.
Cotton produces a biologically active, polyphenolic compound called Gossypol. In order to produce the finished product the Cottonseed Oil goes through three processes:
These steps effectively remove Gossypol from the oil.
Cottonseed Oil Properties
Read and know about some of the main properties of Cottonseed Oil:
- It is of a clear amber yellow color and looks quite similar to corn oil.
- The amount of refinement of this oil affects its color.
- Cottonseed Oil is neutral in taste.
- It has a smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F)
- The density of Cottonseed Oil at 15 °C is 925.87 kg/cubic meter.
- Cottonseed Oil contains a high amount of tocopherols.
What is Cottonseed Oil Used for?
The cottonseed oil is a familiar ingredient in the kitchen. It is basically used for deep frying but it is also used for binding purposes. It is used to prepare such items as
- Potato chips
- Salad dressing
- French fries
- Snack bars
Cottonseed Oil is useful in manufacturing personal care and cosmetic products.
Cottonseed Oil cake is a by product of the oil. It is mainly used to feed domestic animals.
Cottonseed Oil Benefits
The basic properties make it a very healthy choice for cooking purposes.
The general benefits are as follows:
- It has a high smoke point. As a result, it can be used for deep frying and high-temperature cooking.
- Cottonseed Oil is neutral in taste. It means it will taste like whichever ingredient it is added to. Sometimes, the oil added to the food tends to change the flavor. But this problem never occurs when cooking with Cottonseed oil. This fact makes it more useful in the kitchen.
- The shelf life of food containing it is quite long. This is due to the high amount of Tocopherols in it.
- It is considerably cheaper than other organic oils like olive oil and canola oil.
It also has the following health benefits to offer:
- It contains an adequate amount of saturated fatty acids. This makes it much more stable cooking oil when compared to other organic cooking oils.
- There are also sufficient unsaturated fatty acids in the contents of the oil to make it heart healthy.
- It does not need to go through the hydrogenation process. As a result, there is no cholesterol or other hydrogenated substance in it. This makes the oil healthier.
- Rich source of vitamin E.
- Beneficial to human immunity.
- It can also be advantageous for skin improvement.
Cottonseed Oil Nutrition
The nutrition level of this oil is under scrutiny. Many nutritionists think that there is too little monounsaturated fat and too much saturated fat in it. It is possible to contain toxic elements as cottonseed is not a food crop. Farmers use various agrichemicals to grow it.
During the refining process, the natural toxin called Gossypol is removed from the oil.
Cottonseed Oil Side Effects
It is possible to have a Cottonseed Oil allergy. People who are allergic to seeds like canola may have allergic reaction to both cottonseed and the oil. In these cases, food cooked in Cottonseed Oil must be avoided.
The pesticides used to grow the crop may cause health hazards for people who consume the oil.
Cottonseed Oil Toxicity
This oil may be cheaper than many others, but the truth is it might also be unhealthy. It may contain various natural toxins. The principal natural toxin (Gossypol) is removed from it before it can be used as cooking oil. The Cottonseed Oil containing Gossypol is so toxic that it is used as a pesticide.
Cotton is not classified as a food crop. Many chemicals and pesticides used to grow cotton crops are illegal for food crops. Still, Cottonseed Oil is regarded as cooking oil and is widely used to prepare food. As a result, the dangers of consuming some harmful chemical along with food containing Cottonseed Oil are always there.
Cottonseed Oil as Biodiesel
There is the possibility that it might be used as biodiesel. According to experts, the lubricating properties of Cottonseed Oil are good. It can also work well in low sulfur diesel. But it is highly in demand as frying oil. So, it is hard to get enough to use it as diesel.
Because of its low price, Cottonseed oil is a great favorite with food manufacturers all over the world. But, it may also have its disadvantages. It can only be said that special care should be taken when processing the oil for culinary uses.
- by Sean Northampton
- 9th November 2016
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