This scientist just made cottonseed edible, and this could help feed millions of people
Cottonseed is usually considered inedible as it contains a gene that produces a toxin called gossypol. However, an Indian scientist Dr. Keerti Rathore has managed to make cottonseed edible by muting that particular gene after nearly two decades of research.
To illustrate the significance of this research and its potential, let’s do some quick math. Considering how the world produces 48.5 million tons of cotton each year, and each pound of cotton fiber produces 1.6 pounds of cottonseed, Rathore’s edible innovation could result in roughly 155 billion pounds of edible cottonseed annually, which would have a tremendous impact in the fight against world hunger and malnutrition.
Recently, Dr Rathore’s work in growing edible cotton seeds was approved for commercialization by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Being naturally high in protein, the plant is expected to be beneficial for individuals living in countries where the diet is primarily low-protein, plant-based diets. The seed could be ground into a flour and implemented into various recipes and cuisines, all while remaining low in cost and incredibly abundant in supply.