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Mineral Oil

Alternate Names

White Mineral Oil


is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum. It is a by-product in the production of gasoline. It is refined and has no color, odor or taste. It is used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes: defoamer in food, releasing agent in baked goods and yeast production, coating on fruits & vegetables, and as a protective float on pickles, wine and vinegar. The US FDA regulates specific amounts for each intended use.

Mineral Oil - Quick Stats

White Mineral Oil

Allergy Information


Glazing Agent, Anti-Caking Agent

Additional Information

Widely used as a wax coating in food packaging (paper cups, milk cartons, etc.) and for dust control on grains. The International Agency for Research on Cancer rates untreated or mildly treated mineral oil as "carcinogenic to humans." Highly refined mineral oil is rated as "not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans." Animal studies indicate that mineral oil may cause tumors.

Found In

coating on raw fruits & vegetables, dehydrated fruits & vegetables, baked goods, candy

Possible Health Effects

A mild laxative effect. Studies indicate that mineral oil mist may result in dermatitis, headaches, drowsiness for those working with prolonged exposure. Mineral oil (OSHA Guidelines). Also see additional information section.

Allergy Information


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Print Resources

Copyright September 7, 2010 Be Food Smart

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