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Cotton has been used for about five millennia in ancient civilizations in America, Africa, and Asia. But up until the nineteenth century, cottonseed was not considered a product of value. The first cottonseed oil production started in 1833, consequently forming the cottonseed cake. Nowadays, we know cottonseed meal is a useful by-product for the feed industry and the fertilizer sector.

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Cottonseed meal processing technology builds on cottonseed oil extraction systems

Cottonseed meal processing technology leverages the cottonseed oil production method. After all, cottonseed meal is a by-product of cottonseed oil extraction. However, once you separate your meal from the oil, you must process it further to obtain the final product. Depending on whether you want cottonseed cake, powder, or pellets, you use a drier, and a grinder, or a pellet mill.

The cottonseed cake is widely used in feed formulations to make compound feed, while the pellet form usually goes for concentrate feed. On the other hand, cottonseed meal in powder or granules is used chiefly as gardening fertilizer.

Cottonseed meal as an alternative protein feed source

Cottonseed meal is a plant-based protein that can be used as an alternative feed source. Its favorable palatability and high protein content make it a good protein concentrate for adult ruminants.

In addition, it can substitute a low percentage of soybean meal in feed formulas for poultry, swine, and fish. But cottonseed meal contains gossypol, a toxic compound for some species, and its consumption as feed must be measured accurately.

Pulverize cottonseed cake to produce a natural fertilizer

Cottonseed meal targets both the animal feed market and the agriculture sector. As an organic fertilizer, cottonseed meal is easy to use and safe to enrich the soils. Moreover, it is a natural source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that helps lower the soil’s pH.

You can choose to target one of the markets, or both of them, with the same product. You need to pulverize your cake to offer it as fertilizer. Either way, you will be contributing to the circular economy. Considering that the leftovers of the cotton industry are a sustainable way to feed animals or soil.

Processing steps involved in cottonseed-meal making

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