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I have this jar of coconut oil from NOW Foods that my wife found in the beauty isle. She wasn't using it, and I'm wondering if I can use it to make pancakes. The jar is labeled "skin & hair / revitalizing" but the only ingredient listed is "cocos nucifera (coconut) oil". It tastes very plain. Is this the right stuff? Or is there a special quality to coconut oils found in the baking isle?

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    Oil made by dry process, or wet process? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_oil I'd be concerned with whatever solvents might be used in the dry process. If the stuff isn't being manufactured for use in food, it's probably not made using food grade solvents. – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 3 '16 at 0:08
  • I just realized on that page I linked to it says it's food grade. That means it's safe, right? – David Kennedy Sep 3 '16 at 0:26
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    "considered food grade" is not the same thing as "food grade" You have to ask yourself who is doing the considering, and use the stuff accordingly. – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 3 '16 at 14:42
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Yes, I think you can. The page you link does list the oil as "food grade", and specifies no added solvents... so there's probably nothing dangerous in the jar and it can be safely used for cooking.

In general, though, you usually shouldn't equate cosmetic treatments and edible substances, even if some of the ingredients are the same (soaps often do this, list all food sounding ingredients until a second glance reveals it, well, soap), or even if the base substance is the same but may have undergone different processes (like coconut oil or cocoa butter). If the coconut oil had been processed with some non-food grade solvents or processes, it might be perfectly safe for topical application, and still be quite dangerous to consume.

If you are questioning whether a substance might be an ingredient as well as a cosmetic treatment, look up the information, and I mean brand-specific product page, and see if it mentions "food grade" - that means exactly the bit of information you're looking for, that it is of a high enough quality that it passes the tests they use for product meant to be eaten.

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    Some oils considered edible in some culinary traditions (eg strong mustard oils) are sold as "cosmetic use" in some countries (because they are considered unacceptable as food by local laws), though their "inofficial" use is culinary - that's when things start to become really complicated... – rackandboneman Jan 16 '18 at 9:49

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