Fried in Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil extracted from the seeds of cotton plant of various species, mainly Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium herbaceum. Cotton grown for oil extraction is one of the big four genetically modified crops grown around the world, next to soy, corn, and rapeseed (canola). The cottonseed itself has a very 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. The cottonseed oil undergoes intensive treatment after extraction to reduce the level of gossypol found in untreated cottonseed oil, the consumption of which may produce undesirable side-effects Cottonseed oil enhances, rather than masks, the fresh natural flavors of foods. Its neutral taste makes it perfect for frying seafood, snack foods and oriental foods, especially stir-fry. In snack foods, where oil becomes part of the product, cottonseed oil is often considered superior because of its low flavor reversion especially when used at high temperatures. And, toward the end of its useful life, cottonseed oil will not produce objectionable flavors as some oils do. As a cooking oil, it is used for frying in both commercial and home cooking. In shortening and margarine, it is used for baked food and cake icings. In the U. S., 56% of it is used as a salad or cooking oil, while 36% is used for baking and frying fats, and the remainder for margarine and other uses. Cottonseed oil is one of the most common oils in commercial frying in the production of potato and corn chips. Cottonseed oil is used as cocoa butter substitutes after hydrogenation and/or fractionation. Hydrogenated cottonseed oil is used in frozen desserts to replace butter fat.