cotton seed (Gossypium spp)
Gossypol is a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound present in the pigment glands of cotton seed (Gossypium spp). The average gossypol content varying from 0.4-2.4% within glanded cotton seeds to less than 0.01% free gossypol within some low-gossypol cotton seed meals (Liener, 1980; Robinson and Brent, 1989; Castaldo, 1995). Reduced lysine availability has been reported with cotton seed protein due to the ability of heatgossypol to bind with the reactive epsilon amino group of lysine during heat processing (Wilson et al., 1981; Robinson, 1991; Church, 1991). The general symptoms of gossypol toxicity are depressed appetite, loss of weight, laboured breathing and cardiac irregularity. Death is usually associated with reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, haemolytic effects on erythrocytes and circulatory failure. Dietary gossypol also causes olive-green discolouration of yolks in eggs (Church, 1991; Olomu, 1995; McDonald et al., 1995).