Cottonseed are the seeds of the cotton plant. They are commercially important for its oil and also other products. Cottonseed oil is used in salad and cooking oils. After hydrogenation, in shortenings and margarine. The cake or meal,which remains after the oil is extracted is used in poultry and livestock feeds. Linters are short cellulose fibers left on the seed after the staple cotton and is removed by ginning.They are used to make coarse yarns and also used in many cellulose products. The hulls or outer seed coverings are used in ruminant animal feed as roughage.
The mature seeds are brown ovoids weighing about a tenth of a gram. By weight, they are 60% cotyledon, 32% coat and 8% embryonic root and shoot. So these contain 20% protein, 20% oil and 3.5% starch. Fibers grow from the seed coat to form a boll of cotton lint. The boll is a protective fruit and the plant is grown commercially.It is stripped from the seed by ginning. The lint is processed and converted into cotton fibre.
About 1.6 units of seeds are produced from unit weight of fibre. The seeds are about 15% of the value of the crop. Oil is extracted from Cottonseeds. They are also used as ruminant animal feed. About 5% of the seeds are used for sowing the next crop.
Uses of Cotton Seeds:
Feed products for livestock.