There is a thing such as "food grade mineral oil". Does "food grade" means it is safe to cook with?

I know it is used widely for oiling cutting boards. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits using mineral oil for food (with limitations).

Is it dangerous even in limited amounts? Or can it be used instead of or mixed with vegetable oil?

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    If you're also wondering what food-grade mineral oil is for if it shouldn't be used as an ingredient, it's good for oiling open-wood cutting boards and unfinished wooden utensils. An advantage it has over food based oils like olive or peanut oil is that mineral oil won't oxidize and become rancid. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


Well, food-grade means you can ingest some without poisoning yourself. It does not mean it’s a suitable replacement for cooking or baking. If you do use it, you will soon learn that it’s a laxative, which means you won’t get to enjoy the food in peace.

In hard times, people have used it and during World War II, the British government suggested using liquid paraffin in place of other, rationed, fats. The already mentioned side effects were also observed. You can find a sample recipe here.

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    Rose Levy-Berenbaum's recipe for "creme ivoire" calls for mineral oil, 3 ounces to a pound of white chocolate, spread over a whole cake. I dunno if that's enough to cause the laxative effect. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 17:05
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    @JoshuaEngel I don’t either. But I am not planning to do an experiment. In case of doubt, stick with Paracelsus. You could always try and report back with the ultimative answer?
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 17:10
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    A vinaigrette is an emulsion, maybe that does have some effect on the ... effect? I would not trust 45ml of raw cooking oil, drunk straight on an empty stomach.... Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 21:46
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    @Joshua Engel chocolate is known to cause constipation. If you are lucky, the recipe has it all balanced. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 21:58
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    It may be worth mentioning that the European Union does not allow the use of mineral oil for food preparation. Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 16:02

Food grade mineral oil just means it has been filtered of impurities that would harm you. It is meant to be used as a lubricant on food machinery and as a cutting board oil to help preserve the water repelling properties.

Do NOT eat or cook with mineral oil. Mineral Oil is a PETROLEUM product that is made from oil, refined, and distilled. Your body can't use it as food, and because it has been filtered it won't kill you, but its only usage in human consumption is as a laxative for forcing your bowels to empty when you have constipation. Not something a healthy person should touch!

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