Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil extracted from the seeds of cotton plant of various species, mainly Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium herbaceum. All cotton that is grown is used to produce cotton fiber, animal feed, and oil. In 2011 cotton was the third biggest of the genetically modified crops grown worldwide, as measured by acreage: soybean was 47%, occupying 75.4 million hectares; biotech maize (51.00 million hectares at 32%), biotech cotton (24.7 million hectares at 15%) and biotech canola (8.2 million hectares at 5%)
Cotton seed has a 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.