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Cottonseed Oil: Physicochemical Attribute, Health Benefits and Applications

Cotton plant is not only a source of fibre but it also provides around 4% of the world's vegetable oil supply. Cottonseed oil is obtained from the cottonseed after using various extraction methods such as solvent extraction, mechanical pressing of seeds, microwave assisted extraction, ultrasound extraction and enzyme assisted extraction methods. Raw cottonseed oil is refined using various processes to eliminate the gossypol, a toxic compound present in cottonseed. But after refining, bleaching and deodorization, the gossypol content of CSO gets reduced to safe limit for human consumption and also the odor, color and flavor becomes suitable for cooking. It has various properties including cardio-protection, anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties owing to high content of linoleic acid and tocopherols. Refined cottonseed oil has promising applications in food industries for frying and baking due to its high smoke point and stability. Furthermore it is considered as heart healthy oil because it contains more than 73% unsaturated fatty acids including approximately 52% linoleic acid and 21% oleic acid.