Using Food Grade (Edible) Essential Oil

What are Food Grade Essential Oils?

Many essential oils are suitable for use as a flavoring and are safe for human consumption. Used sparingly, these powerful, all natural oils can add intense flavor and aroma to candies, chocolates, frostings, baked goods, soups and marinades.

The essential oils that LorAnn Oils labels as food grade (edible) are approved by a regulation of the FDA (a classification known as GRAS) or appear on the industry approved register of safe ingredients for the flavor industry.  LorAnn Oils is independently certified as a Safe Quality Foods (SQF) manufacturer.

Essential oils are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. These natural plant oils are appreciated for both their aromatic and flavoring qualities. Many essential oils such as peppermint, lemon and orange are commonly used to flavor desserts, candies and chocolates. Other, more herbal oils, such as thyme and marjoram are better suited for flavoring savory foods such as stews and sauces. Lavender and bergamot oils have become popular in chocolate crafting especially.

How do I use food grade essential oils?

Essential oils are VERY concentrated, and therefore should be used in small amounts and never ingested undiluted or directly from the bottle.

Using citrus oils in place of citrus zest:

  • Substitute lemon oil for lemon zest, orange oil for orange zest and lime oil for lime zest.
  • In recipes calling for grated citrus zest or peel start with 1/8 teaspoon essential oil in place of 1 tablespoon of zest. No more grated knuckles! This is an easy way to add a punch of citrus flavor to glazes, toppings, sauces – even piecrust!

Using essential oils in savory cooking:

  • For most oils, one drop replaces a teaspoon of dried herb or spice.
  • For bolder tasting herb oils such as Thyme, Oregano (Origanum), Rosemary and Marjoram, dip a toothpick into the bottle and stir into your recipe just before serving. Stronger flavored oils can be simmered at length in soups and stews to produce a milder flavor.
  • For milder herb oils use 1 - 2 drops at the end of cooking, or just before serving. 

Using essential oils in baking and candy making:

  • As with LorAnn’s super strength oils, natural essential oils are about 3 to 4 times stronger than alcohol-based extract flavorings (an extract is a flavor diluted in alcohol or a combination of alcohol and water).
  • To substitute natural essential oils for an extract, start by using ¼ teaspoon essential oil in place of 1 teaspoon of an extract. Some essential oils such as clove and peppermint are particularly potent. We recommend starting with less and adding more to taste.

Using essential oils in chocolate and chocolate crafting

  • All food grade essential oils are appropriate for use in real chocolate and chocolate coating (candy melts).
  • Use approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per pound of chocolate or chocolate coating. Also ideal for flavoring candy centers & fondants.
  • To use, add oil to melted chocolate and stir to mix thoroughly. When using a floral or herbal essential oil such as lavender and bergamot, just a hint of essence is needed. We recommend dipping a toothpick into the bottle and stirring into the melted chocolate. With these flavors, it’s best to start with a tiny amount and add as necessary.

List of Food Grade (F/G) Natural Essential Oils Sold by LorAnn Oils

All oils listed here are certified to be food grade.
To purchase, search by name from our list of food grade essential oils and super strength flavorings

Blood Orange
Clove (Clove Leaf)
Oregano (Origanum) 
Tea Tree

"LorAnn Naturals" Product Line

Flavors in our "LorAnn Naturals" line are compounded using natural flavor ingredients in a base of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine. These concentrated flavors are about twice the strength of a typical grocery store extract flavor.  To purchase, please see our list of  More Natural Flavors

Flavors in the LorAnn Naturals product line:

Creamy Caramel

Flavours /Extracts verses Baking Emulsions

Lorann offers many flavourings in both flavours/extracts or bakery emulsions.

When to choose a Flavour?

Flavours / Extracts are primarily alcohol based and are typically stronger than a bakery emulsion and they excel for icing, candies, gummies, pudding, jello or any treat that is not going to be heated for a significant portion of time. Because flavours are alcohol based they are not a good choice for cakes and cupcakes because they will (to a certain extent ) evaporate out during the baking process. Can you use flavours for baking? – yes but… you have to put in more of the  flavour in to the batter than you would of the similar flavour in a baking emulsion. Some of the Lorann Flavours are specifically labelled "Oils" and unlike the alcohol based flavours these are fine for baking: Lemon Oil, Peppermint Oil, Orange Oil, Anise Oil etc. Some (but not all) Lorann flavours are suitable for making chocolates – check the Lorann Safe for Chocolate Chart to make sure.

When to Choose a Bakery Emulsion?

Emulsions are the go to choice for cakes, cupcakes, breads – anything that will be in the oven for a significant portion of time. Bakery emulsions are flavour suspended in a base containing mostly water they withstand the baking process better than the alcohol suspended flavours and leave the end product more flavourful.

Use bakery emulsions just like you would a flavour/extract. 1 teaspoon bakery emulsion = 1 teaspoon extract