Reasons To Love Cooking With Cottonseed Oil
Reason No. 1
Stable And Versatile
Cottonseed oil is naturally stable so it does not require hydrogenation 17. It’s one of only a few oils stable in the beta-prime crystal form 18, which is desirable in most solidified products because it promotes a smooth, workable consistency usually referred to as plasticity. This characteristic makes it extremely versatile for frying, baking, salad oils, shortenings and specialty products. Cottonseed oil lasts longer than many others and resists rancidity on the shelf 19.
Reason No. 2
Cottonseed oil enhances the natural taste of foods, rather than contributing its own flavor. Its desirable bland flavor makes it an oil of choice for chip production because of the “nutty, buttery” flavor it develops when exposed to heat or light. Unlike other oils, cottonseed oil doesn’t experience undesirable flavor reversion 20.
Reason No. 3
Plant-Based and Sustainable
Cottonseed oil is a homegrown frying favorite that comes from responsibly managed cotton fields throughout the U.S. South. It’s a close relative of okra and hibiscus 14, is cholesterol free and suitable for kosher cooking 12. In a head-to-head comparison with olive oil, cottonseed oil comes out ahead with its ability to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) 23.
Reason No. 4
Baking with 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*.
* Figoni, P. 2010. “Fats, Oils and Emulsifiers.” How baking works: Exploring the fundamentals of Baking Science, 3rd edition. pp. 229. Essay, John Wiley & Sons.