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Cottonseed Oil


An oil extracted from the seeds of several varieties of the cotton plant. The oil is heavily processed and is very common in commercial foods. Because the oil resists becoming rancid, it offers products a longer shelf life. The oil is also commonly found in its hydrogenated form - see Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil.

Cottonseed Oil - Quick Stats

Allergy Information


Emulsifier, Texturizer

Additional Information

Cottonseed contains gossypol, a derivative of the cotton plant. The oil must go through intensive processing to reduce the amount of gossypol in the finished product since it can cause health issues. Most cotton is genetically modified and pesticides are heavily used on the crops. Cottonseed oil is cheaper than many other processed oils which in combination with its stability, high smoke point, and its ability to resist rancidity makes it very appealing to food manufacturers. Cottonseed oil is naturally high in tocopherols and consumption increases intake of Vitamin E.

Found In

chips, fried foods, doughnuts, bread, cereal, snack foods, vegetable shortening, sardines

Possible Health Effects

Tumors in animal studies. The health effects of exposure to these pesticide residues are unknown. Consumption of gossypol, a derivative of the cotton plant, can cause fatigue, lowered potassium levels, and muscle weakness.

Allergy Information

May cause allergic reaction in sensitive individuals

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Copyright September 3, 2010 Be Food Smart

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