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Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil extracted from the seeds of cotton plants of various species, mainly Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium herbaceum, that are grown for cotton fiber, animal feed, and oil.[1]

Cotton seed has a similar structure to other oilseeds such as sunflower seed, having an oil-bearing kernel surrounded by a hard outer hull; in processing, the oil is extracted from the kernel. Cottonseed oil is used for salad oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and similar products because of its flavor stability.[2]

Composition

Mississippi Cottonseed Oil Co. seed house, Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Its fatty acid profile generally consists of 70% unsaturated fatty acids (18% monounsaturated, and 52% polyunsaturated), 26% saturated fatty acids.[3] When it is fully hydrogenated, its profile is 94% saturated fat and 2% unsaturated fatty acids (1.5% monounsaturated, and 0.5% polyunsaturated).[4] According to the cottonseed oil industry, cottonseed oil does not need to be hydrogenated as much as other polyunsaturated oils to achieve similar results.[2]

Gossypol is a toxic, yellow, polyphenolic compound produced by cotton and other members of the order Malvaceae, such as okra.[5] This naturally occurring coloured compound is found in tiny glands in the seed, leaf, stem, tap root bark, and root of the cotton plant. The adaptive function of the compound facilitates natural insect resistance. The three key steps of refining, bleaching, and deodorization in producing finished oil act to eliminate the gossypol level. Ferric chloride is often used to decolorize cotton seed oil.[6]

Comparison to other vegetable oils

Vegetable oils[7][8]
Type Processing
Treatment
Saturated
fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids Polyunsaturated fatty acids Smoke point
Total mono[7] Oleic acid
(ω-9)
Total poly[7] linolenic acid
(ω-3)
Linoleic acid
(ω-6)
Avocado[9] 11.6 70.6 13.5 1 12.5 249 °C (480 °F)[10]
Canola[11] 7.4 63.3 61.8 28.1 9.1 18.6 238 °C (460 °F)[12]
Coconut[13] 82.5 6.3 6 1.7 175 °C (347 °F)[12]
Corn[14] 12.9 27.6 27.3 54.7 1 58

232 °C (450 °F)[15]

Cottonseed[16] 25.9 17.8 19 51.9 1 54 216 °C (420 °F)[15]
Flaxseed/Linseed[17] 9.0 18.4 18 67.8 53 13

107 °C (225 °F)

Hempseed[18] 7.0 9.0 9.0 82.0 22.0 54.0

166 °C (330 °F)[19]

Olive[20] 13.8 73.0 71.3 10.5 0.7 9.8 193 °C (380 °F)[12]
Palm[21] 49.3 37.0 40 9.3 0.2 9.1 235 °C (455 °F)
Peanut[22] 20.3 48.1 46.5 31.5 31.4 232 °C (450 °F)[15]
Safflower[23] 7.5 75.2 75.2 12.8 0 12.8 212 °C (414 °F)[12]
Soybean[24] 15.6 22.8 22.6 57.7 7 51 238 °C (460 °F)[15]
Sunflower (< 60% linoleic)[25] 10.1 45.4 45.3 40.1 0.2 39.8

227 °C (440 °F)[15]

Sunflower (> 70% oleic)[26] 9.9 83.7 82.6 3.8 0.2 3.6

227 °C (440 °F)[15]

Cottonseed[27] Hydrogenated 93.6 1.5 0.6 0.3
Palm[28] Hydrogenated 88.2 5.7 0
Soybean[29] Partially hydrogenated 14.9 43.0 42.5 37.6 2.6 34.9
Values as percent (%) by weight of total fat.

Physical properties

Once processed, cottonseed oil has a mild taste and appears generally clear with a light golden color, the amount of color depending on the amount of refining.[30] It has a relatively high smoke point as a frying medium. Density ranges from 0.917 g/cm3 to 0.933 g/cm3.[31] Like other long-chain fatty acid oils, cottonseed oil has a smoke point of about 450 °F (232 °C),[5] and is high in tocopherols, which also contribute its stability, giving products that contain it a long shelf life, hence manufacturers' proclivity to use it in packaged goods.

Economic History

Marketed under a variety of brand names, cottonseed oil shortening emerged as the leading substitute for lard late in the 19th Century. (1912 ad)

The by-product of cotton processing, cottonseed was considered virtually worthless before the late 19th century.[32] While cotton production expanded throughout the 17th, 18th, and mid 19th centuries, a largely worthless stock of cottonseed grew.[32] Although some of the seed was used for planting, fertilizer, and animal feed, the majority was left to rot or was illegally dumped into rivers.[33]

In the 1820s and 1830s Europe experienced fats and oils shortages due to rapid population expansion during the Industrial Revolution and the after-effects of the British blockade during the Napoleonic Wars.[33] The increased demand for fats and oils, coupled with a decreasing supply caused prices to rise sharply.[32] Consequently, many Europeans could not afford to buy the fats and oils they had used for cooking and for lighting.[32] Many United States entrepreneurs tried to take advantage of the increasing European demand for oils and America’s increasingly large supply of cottonseed by crushing the seed for oil.[33] But separating the seed hull from the seed meat proved difficult and most of these ventures failed within a few years.[33] This problem was resolved in 1857, when William Fee invented a huller, which effectively separated the tough hulls from the meats of cottonseed.[32] With this new invention, cottonseed oil began to be used for illumination purposes in lamps to supplement increasingly expensive whale oil and lard.[32] But by 1859, this use came to end as the petroleum industry emerged.[32]

Cottonseed oil then began to be used illegally to fortify animal fats and lards.[32] Initially, meat packers secretly added cottonseed oil to the pure fats, but this practice was uncovered in 1884.[32] Armour and Company, an American meatpacking and food processing company, sought to corner the lard market and realized that it had purchased more lard than the existing hog population could have produced.[32] A congressional investigation followed, and legislation was passed that required products fortified with cottonseed oil to be labeled as ‘‘lard compound.”[33] Similarly, cottonseed oil was often blended with olive oil. Once the practice was exposed, many countries put import tariffs on American olive oil and Italy banned the product completely in 1883.[33] Both of these regulatory schemes depressed cottonseed oil sales and exports, once again creating an oversupply of cottonseed oil, which decreased its value.[33]

It was cottonseed's depressed value that led a newly formed Procter & Gamble to utilize its oil.[33] The Panic of 1837 caused the two brothers-in-law to merge their candlestick and soap manufacturing businesses in an effort to minimize costs and weather the bear market.[32] Looking for a replacement for expensive animal fats in production, the brothers finally settled on cottonseed oil.[32] Procter & Gamble cornered the cottonseed oil market to circumvent the meat packer's monopoly on the price. But as electricity emerged, the demand for candles decreased.[33] Procter and Gamble then found an edible use for cottonseed oil. Through patented technology, the brothers were able to hydrogenate cottonseed oil and develop a substance that closely resembled lard.[32] In 1911, Procter & Gamble launched an aggressive marketing campaign to publicize its new product, Crisco, a vegetable shortening that could be used in place of lard.[34] Crisco placed ads in major newspapers advertising that the product was "easier on digestion...a healthier alternative to cooking with animal fats. . . and more economical than butter.”[35] The company also gave away free cookbooks, with every recipe calling for Crisco.[35] By the 1920s the company developed cookbooks for specific ethnicities in their native tongues.[35] Additionally, Crisco starting airing radio cooking programs.[35] Similarly, in 1899 David Wesson, a food chemist, developed deodorized cottonseed oil, Wesson cooking oil.[33] Wesson Oil also was marketed heavily and became quite popular too.[33]

Over the next 30 years cottonseed oil became the pre-eminent oil in the United States.[32] Crisco and Wesson oil became direct substitutes for lard and other more expensive oils in baking, frying, sautéing, and salad dressings.[32] But by World War Two cottonseed oil shortages forced the utilization of another direct substitute, soybean oil.[32] By 1944, soybean oil production outranked cottonseed oil production due to cottonseed shortages and soybean oil costs falling below that of cottonseed oil.[32] By 1950, soybean oil replaced cottonseed oil in the use of shortenings like Crisco due to soybeans comparatively low price.[32] Prices for cottonseed were also increased by the replacement of cotton acreage by corn and soybeans, a trend fueled in large part by the boom in demand for corn syrup and ethanol.[32] Cottonseed oil and production continued to decline throughout the mid and late 20th century.[32]

In the mid to late 2000s, the consumer trend of avoiding trans fats, and mandatory labeling of trans fats in some jurisdictions, sparked an increase in the consumption of cottonseed oil,[36] with some health experts[37]:220 and public health agencies[38] recommending it as a healthy oil. Crisco and other producers have been able to reformulate cottonseed oil so it contains little to no trans fats.[39] Still, some health experts claim that cottonseed oil’s high ratio of polyunsaturated fats to monounsaturated fats and processed nature make it unhealthy.[40]

Use in food

Cottonseed oil has traditionally been used in foods such as potato chips and was for many years a primary ingredient in Crisco, the shortening product. The current formulation of Crisco includes no cottonseed oil.[41] Significantly less expensive than olive oil or canola oil, cottonseed oil is a popular frying oil for the restaurant and snack-food manufacturing industries.[42]

Use as insecticide

In an agricultural context, the toxicity of untreated cottonseed oil may be considered beneficial: Oils, including vegetable oils, have been used for centuries to control insect and mite pests.[43] More recently, cottonseed oil has been used to protect the trunks of apple trees from the apple clearwing moth, which burrows into the trees' bark, potentially killing them.[44] This oil has been generally considered the most insecticidal of vegetable oils.[43]

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Twenty Facts About Cottonseed Oil from cotton plant". National Cottonseed Products Association. Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Basic Report: 04502, Oil, cottonseed, salad or cooking". United States Department of Agriculture. 
  4. ^ "Nutrient data for 04702, Oil, industrial, cottonseed, fully hydrogenated". United States Department of Agriculture. 
  5. ^ a b Jones, Lynn A.; King, C. Clay (1996). "Cottonseed oil". In Y. H. Hui (ed.). Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products, Edible Oil and Fat Products: Oils and Oilseeds. New York: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-59426-0. 
  6. ^ "Research abstract: Southern Regional Research Laboratory". 
  7. ^ a b c "US National Nutrient Database, Release 28". United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016.  All values in this column are from the USDA Nutrient database unless otherwise cited.
  8. ^ "Fats and fatty acids contents per 100 g (click for "more details") example: avocado oil; user can search for other oils". Nutritiondata.com, Conde Nast for the USDA National Nutrient Database, Standard Release 21. 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2017.  Values from Nutritiondata.com (SR 21) may need to be reconciled with most recent release from the USDA SR 28 as of Sept 2017.
  9. ^ "Avocado oil, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  10. ^ What is unrefined, extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil?, The American Oil Chemists’ Society
  11. ^ "Canola oil, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c d Katragadda, H. R.; Fullana, A. S.; Sidhu, S.; Carbonell-Barrachina, Á. A. (2010). "Emissions of volatile aldehydes from heated cooking oils". Food Chemistry. 120: 59. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.070. 
  13. ^ "Coconut oil, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  14. ^ "Corn oil, industrial and retail, all purpose salad or cooking, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Wolke, Robert L. (May 16, 2007). "Where There's Smoke, There's a Fryer". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cottonseed oil, salad or cooking, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "Linseed/Flaxseed oil, cold pressed, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis". Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  19. ^ https://www.veghealth.com/nutrition-tables/Smoke-Points-of-Oils-table.pdf
  20. ^ "Olive oil, salad or cooking, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  21. ^ "Palm oil, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  22. ^ Vegetable Oils in Food Technology (2011), p. 61.
  23. ^ "Safflower oil, salad or cooking, high oleic, primary commerce, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Soybean oil, salad or cooking, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  25. ^ "Sunflower oil, less than 60% of total fats as linoleic acid, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  26. ^ "Sunflower oil, high oleic - 70% or more as oleic acid, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  27. ^ "Cottonseed oil, industrial, fully hydrogenated, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  28. ^ "Palm oil, industrial, fully hydrogenated, filling fat, fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  29. ^ "Soybean oil, salad or cooking, (partially hydrogenated), fat composition, 100 g". US National Nutrient Database, Release 28, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  30. ^ "Cottonseed oil" (PDF). National Cottonseed Products Association. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  31. ^ "Cottonseed oil". Transport Information Service, Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t O’Brien, Richard D., et al. “Cottonseed oil.” Chapter 5 in Bailey’s Industrial Oil and Fat Products, Volume 2: Edible Oil & Fat Products: Edible Oils. Editor, Fereidoon Shahidi. John Wiley and Sons, Inc 2005. ISBN 9780471678496
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Nixon HC. (2005) The Rise of the American Cottonseed Oil Industry. Journal of Political Economy 38(1):73-85
  34. ^ Drew Ramsey and Tyler Graham for The Atlantic. April 26, 2012. How Vegetable Oils Replaced Animals Fats in the American Diet.
  35. ^ a b c d Crisco Corporate Historical Timeline Archived 2013-10-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ Staff, Cotton247.com. September 12, 2009 Cottonseed Oil Production, Consumption On The Rise - Crushers expect over 100 million pound increase.
  37. ^ Willett WC and Skerrett PJ. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating. Free Press 2005 (paperback), sold in ebook form by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  38. ^ Staff, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. March 2005 Health Bulletin: Healthy Heart - Eat Less Trans Fat Archived October 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ Associated Press. January 25, 2007 Crisco drops trans fats from shortening formula
  40. ^ Danielle Walsh, Health Columnist for Bon Appetit Magazine. January 27, 2012. 3 Best and Worst Oils For Your Health
  41. ^ "Ingredient facts". crisco.com. Archived from the original on 2009-11-15. 
  42. ^ "Cottonseed oil use on the rise". cotton 247.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. 
  43. ^ a b W.S. Cranshaw and B. Baxendale, Colorado State University Extension. Updated Friday, April 19, 2013 Insect Control: Horticultural Oils
  44. ^ Erler, Fedai (2010-01-01). "Efficacy of tree trunk coating materials in the control of the apple clearwing, Synanthedon myopaeformis". Journal of Insect Science. 10 (1). doi:10.1673/031.010.6301. 

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