Cottonseed is a plant-based byproduct of the cotton plant. In the ginning process, cotton fiber is separated from the seed and later in the process cottonseed oil is extracted from the seed.
Cottonseed oil has been used by chefs for decades. It’s revered for its versatility, high smoke point and neutral flavor.
Cottonseed oil offers several benefits to enhance culinary creations:
- Flavor: Its neutral taste allows the foods it’s cooking or blending with to stand out.
- High Performing: It is extremely stable with a long shelf life and high smoke point.
- Versatile: It can be used for everything from dressings and frying to baking and sauteing.
- Kosher: Cottonseed oil is considered an acceptable choice for kosher cooking
Cottonseed Oil has a high smoke point of 450°F so it won’t break down as fast as other oils when frying foods. Cottonseed oil is popular for stir-frys, tempura-fried dishes, battered fish and fried chicken. Cottonseed oil is also sought-after for whole chicken, duck & turkey deep frying.
French fries / chips
From regular fries and crinkle-cuts to shoestrings and pomme frites, French fries are found in every culinary setting .
A critical element to the achieving a great fry is often the oil it is fried in. Studies have found cottonseed oil may produce French fries with similar sensory quality, if not better, as other frying oils. Compared to many other popular cooking oils, Cottonseed Oil performed well, and in some cases, produced better quality in terms of crispness, aroma, color and overall flavor. For more information on the study, click here for the full report.
Baked goods, like cake and breads, often contain cottonseed oil. In baking, cottonseed oil is used as a moistener and tenderizer by coating structure building components such as gluten, and starch, thus preventing their excessive hydration. It also provides a moistness and smoothness by interfering with sugar crystallization and enhancing smooth sensation in the mouth.
DRESSINGS & SAUCES
Several brands of mayonnaise use a cottonseed oil blend as the main ingredient. Both mayonnaise and salad dressing spread blend oil with other ingredients like egg yolks, corn syrup and vinegar. Mayonnaise producers like cottonseed oil because the light taste lets the flavor of the spread come through.
Many varieties of salad dressing contain cottonseed oil. With its mild taste and clear light golden color, cottonseed oil is the base of many types of salad dressing such as ranch, thousand island and blue cheese. Even some olive oil-based Italian dressings will sometimes contain a cottonseed oil blend.
For more information about cottonseed oil including videos from Chef’s Roll sharing multiple ways you can fry, bake and blend with cottonseed oil, visit www.cottonseedoil.org
1. Contains Linoleic Acid
About 55 percent of refined cottonseed oil is made up of polyunsaturated fats like linoleic acid. This is an omega-6 fatty acid that, when consumed in moderation, has been shown to help reduce inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, improve brain function and boost immune function.
Linoleic acid is also found in sunflower oil, corn oil and sesame oil.
These types of omega-6 fatty acids should be consumed along with omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Provides Oleic Acid
Almost 20 percent of oil from cottonseeds contains oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that’s found naturally in vegetable fats. Oleic acid is known for its ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
It may also help prevent type 2 diabetes, fight infections and promote brain function.
Olive oil, almond oil and avocado oil contain even higher amounts of heart-healthy oleic acid.
3. Promotes Skin Health
Cottonseed oil benefits the skin because of its moisturizing and soothing properties. Unrefined cottonseed oil contains vitamin E oil, which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects.
Although there isn’t any scientific evidence of this cottonseed oil benefit, it’s commonly used topically for these reasons. Keep in mind, if you aren’t using an organic product, there may be pesticides present.
4. Protects Hair
Cottonseed oil for hair helps moisturize your hair and scalp, and it may help reduce or eliminate dandruff. It can also be used as a styler, helping add shine and tame your hair, reducing the need for hair products that contain chemical additives.
Your hair may be less likely to break when you use just a bit of cottonseed oil before styling.
cottonseed Oil is High in Omega-6s
Like many vegetable oils, cottonseed oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. A diet high in these fats, and low in omega-3s, can lead to inflammation.
Omega-6s are found in many unhealthy, convenient foods, like chips, pizzas, salad dressings and processed meats, so best to limit your intake of cottonseed oil.