What is Mineral Oil Used for in the Food Industry?

What is Mineral Oil Used for in the Food Industry?

What is mineral oil? Simply, mineral oil is a mixture of higher alkanes from a mineral source, such as a distillate of petroleum.

If the mineral oils are not highly refined, they are known to pose health concerns. Lucking, there are food grade mineral oils that are highly refined and are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. This highly refined food safe oil is safe for human consumption.

Benefits of Food Safe Mineral Oil

Mineral oil has several desirable properties, making it useful in the food industry. Some of these properties include:

  • Non-toxic
  • Colorless
  • Tasteless
  • Odorless
  • Anti-sticking
  • Helps prevent corrosion
  • Inexpensive

5 Applications of Food Grade Mineral Oil

Since mineral oil has so many great properties that manufacturers in the food industry like, it is used to create several food products or products that will come into contact with food. Listed below are five different applications of this oil in the food industry.

Wooden Cutting/Chopping Boards

Wooden cutting boards are exposed to germs, moisture, and cuts when used. Food grade safe oil can be used to protect the condition of the board by repelling the water and providing a protective coat on the surface of the board. Wooden cutting boards should be treated a few times a year for optimal performance.


Similar to a wooden cutting board, wood-handled knives require a coating to protect from germs and moisture. Saturating the wooden handle in mineral oil prior to use will allow for the handle to be protected from the moisture it encounters.

Not only does mineral oil protect wooden handles, but it can also be used to protect carbon steel blade knives. Carbon steel does not contain minerals used to prevent corrosion so by using a lubricant, such as mineral oil, the steel is protected from rust while maintaining an impressive shine.


This oil is also occasionally used to give candy pieces a glossy effect while preventing them from sticking to one another.


This oil is also used to prevent dust from sticking to grains such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.

Release Agent

With great antioxidant properties, food grade oils are added to spices, condiments, and nutrients being added into foods. The bakery industry also uses food grade oils as lubricants.

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