Cottonseed provides one of the major sources of protein in the United States and in many foreign countries. The production of cottonseed is necessarily regulated by the factors which determine the demand for and production of cotton fiber.
Most cottonseed meal, produced to contain 36% to 50% protein, has been used as a protein supplement for ruminant animals. Changes in processing and increased knowledge of the value of cottonseed protein have stimulated increasing use in monogastric animal feeds. Limited amounts of cottonseed protein, as a specialty item, have found acceptance domestically, and significant success has been achieved in Latin American countries in the use of high-quality cottonseed flour to relieve or prevent malnutrition in weanling children.
Under current conditions and with the present state of knowledge the opportunity exists to use cottonseed protein concentrate much more extensively as a human food where protein malnutrition exists. The adequacy of both nutritional performance and consumer acceptance has been demonstrated.
Still greater opportunities for expansion into human food usage appear to be available in both foreign and domestic consumption by using more sophisticated production procedures. These include the already initiated commercial production of glandless (gossypol-free) cottonseed, possible changes in types of extraction solvents, air classification and other physical processing innovations, and the production of protein isolates.
Current availability of information and the nature and intensity of research studies under way support the conclusion that cottonseed protein concentrate usage will move steadily from ruminant to monogastric animal feeding and that significant amounts of this protein will be used in the human dietary in the United States and foreign countries.
KeywordsGossypol Economic Botany Cotton Fiber Seed Protein None None
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