Cotton Seed & Oil

One of the healthier vegetable oils, cottonseed oil is highly popular for its neutral, slightly nutty flavour and extensive applications – and is a beneficial addition to our export portfolio It is “naturally hydrogenated” because of its levels of oleic, palmitic and stearic acids. This makes it stable frying oil without the need for additional processing or formation of trans-fatty acids.

When grown for oil extraction, cotton is one of the key genetically modified crops grown around the world, ranking high with soy, corn, and rapeseed (canola). India, along with China, USA, Pakistan and Brazil, ranks among its most major producers.


The cottonseed has a similar strong 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.

This involves several processes that are seamlessly integrated for smooth operations. The cottonseeds are first cleaned, linter removed, passed through hullers where the tough seed coats are removed. The seeds obtained from this section are crushed in expellers for partial recovery of oil. The residual oil contained in the expeller cake is recovered through solvent extraction process. The oil so obtained is washed and refined using cottonseed oil processing technology in order to obtain edible cottonseed oil. The cottonseed oil undergoes intensive treatment after extraction to reduce the level of gossypol toxin found in untreated cottonseed oil. The processed cottonseed oil is finally ready for export.


During oil extraction, cotton seed hull, cotton seed cake and cotton seed meal are important by-products which determine the applications of cottonseed oil.


Once processed, cottonseed oil has a mild taste and appears generally clear with a light golden colour, the amount of colour depending on the amount of refining. Cottonseed oil is naturally hydrogenated, while most other oils must be hydrogenated to retain their tolerance for high frying temperatures creating unhealthy saturated fats. Cottonseed oil retains its natural tolerance for high frying temperatures and is therefore, popular and recommended for all kinds of food manufacturing applications like deep-frying, baking and as salad dressing.

Cottonseed oil is stable frying oil, and is used for mayonnaise, salad dressing, and as other flavoured condiments. It resists rancidity and is high on tocopherol which contributes to longer shelf life for its products. Far from producing objectionable flavours and odours, like many other oils, it is the standard against which other oils are compared for pleasing aroma, flavour and performance. It is also less expensive when compared to other oils and is now used in a wide range of processed foods from breads to cereals.

Cotton seed oil is one of the few oils considered acceptable for reducing saturated fat intake. Cottonseed oil has traditionally been used in foods such as potato chips.   But since it is significantly less expensive than olive oil or canola oil, cottonseed has started to creep into a much wider range of processed foods, including cereals, breads and snack foods.

Within the cottonseed oil processing plant, oils extracted from cottonseed must be refined to remove gossypol, a naturally occurring toxin that protects the cotton plant from insect damage. Therefore, unrefined cottonseed oil is sometimes used as a pesticide. Once the oil has been extracted from the cotton seed, the leftover is high in protein content and it makes for very high quality animal feed.

Cotton Futures