Cottonseed oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the cotton plant after the cotton lint has been removed. It must be refined to remove gossypol, a naturally occurring toxin that protects the cotton plant from insect damage. Cottonseed oil has no cholesterol and is very low in trans fatty acids. It is commonly used in manufacturing potato chips and other snack foods.
Along with soybean oil, cottonseed oil is very often partially or fully hydrogenated. The growing consensus is that in hydrogenated (trans fat) form these oils are very unhealthy. Cottonseed oil was the first oil to be hydrogenated, originally intended for candle production, not food. Proctor & Gamble created and patented this technique, and the marketed name of the product was Crisco.
Since cotton crops are under far less chemical regulation that other other crops used specifically for food, many pesticides or chemicals can be used on cotton crops that are illegal for use on food crops, yet the cottonseed can find it's way into the food chain because of this major legal loophole in the regulation of food and chemicals by the FDA. Some serious pesticides or chemicals could resist processing and find their way into the food chain because of this.Last modified on 28 May 2010, at 09:41