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200 Proof
Food Grade Ethanol

by Culinary Solvent

Everything to Know About Food Grade Ethanol

Ethanol and "ethyl alcohol" are the same.  While ethanol is an "alcohol", not all alcohols offer the food safe properties of ethyl alcohol.  Use the information on this page to understand more about food grade ethanol terms, varieties, raw material considerations, and other important considerations when making a decision on where to buy 200 proof food grade ethanol for your next project or recipe.

What is Food Grade Ethanol? Understanding undenatured ethyl alcohol

Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, is a versatile substance widely used across various industries, from culinary arts to pharmaceuticals.  Ethyl alcohol is one of many alcohols, but only ethyl alcohol is regarded as safe for consumption and topical application.  Remember, "Ethanol is an alcohol, but not all alcohols are ethanol".

The Significance of "Food Grade" Ethanol

Ethanol labeled as "food grade" is produced and processed under strict regulations to ensure it's safe for human consumption. This designation means it contains no harmful impurities or additives and is suitable for use in food products, tinctures, and personal care items. 

Understanding the Difference Between Denatured Alcohol and Food Grade Ethanol

Denatured alcohol and food grade ethanol are both forms of ethyl alcohol, but they serve vastly different purposes due to their composition and safety profiles. Denatured alcohol, as the name suggests, is ethanol that has been mixed with additives to render it poisonous, bad-tasting, foul-smelling, or nauseating, deliberately making it unsuitable for human consumption. These additives, which can include methanol, isopropanol, and other denaturants, are added to prevent the misuse of ethanol in beverages, allowing it to be sold without the alcohol taxes that apply to drinking alcohol. This makes denatured alcohol a common choice for industrial, cleaning, and fuel applications where the toxic additives do not interfere with the intended use.

On the other hand, food grade ethanol is ethyl alcohol that meets strict regulatory standards for purity, ensuring it is safe for consumption or use in food products. This type of ethanol is free from the harmful additives found in denatured alcohol, making it the ideal choice for culinary applications, herbal extractions, pharmaceuticals, and any use where the product may be ingested or come into contact with skin. The purity of food grade ethanol also means it carries a flavor profile that is neutral, making it a versatile solvent and preservative in the food and beverage industry. In summary, while denatured alcohol is suited for industrial and non-consumable applications due to its added toxins, food grade ethanol is specifically processed for safety and purity, making it suitable for a wide range of consumable products.

Learn more about denatured alcohol suppliers and denatured alcohol alternatives on our About denatured and non-denatured alcohol page.

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How Alcohol is Measured: Understanding ABV and Proof

When purchasing food grade ethanol online or exploring various alcoholic products, you'll encounter several terms that describe the alcohol content and quantity. Understanding these measurements is crucial to making informed decisions, especially for applications requiring precise concentrations.

ABV (Alcohol by Volume): ABV stands for "Alcohol by Volume," a standard measurement used worldwide to quantify the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in an alcoholic beverage. Expressed as a percentage, ABV describes how much of the liquid, in a given volume, is alcohol. For example, an ethanol solution with 95% ABV contains 95% alcohol and 5% other components by volume. Food grade ethanol, especially for culinary and medicinal uses, often has a high ABV to ensure purity and effectiveness.

Proof: Originally, "proof" was a British term from a test for the alcohol content of spirits, but it has evolved into a measure of the alcohol content, especially in the United States. In the U.S., proof is calculated as twice the ABV. For instance, a liquid that is 50% alcohol by volume is 100 proof. The term "200 proof" refers to pure ethanol, with no water or other substances mixed in, making it 100% alcohol by volume.

    Food Grade Ethanol Begins with Food Ingredients

    Food grade ethanol, revered for its purity and versatility, is meticulously crafted from real food ingredients. The source of these ingredients significantly influences both the quality and the characteristics of the final product. Commonly derived from corn, grapes, cane, or wheat, food grade ethanol's origins are as diverse as they are natural. Each source imparts a unique profile to the ethanol, making the transparency of these ingredients crucial for consumers, especially those with specific dietary preferences or restrictions.

    Raw Material

    Taste and Smell

    Uses and Pairings

    Available in organic

    Cane (sugar cane)

    Strong, close to burnt notes of molasses, brown sugar, and hard caramel.

    Blends well with vanilla and spicy herbs (think culinary alcohol extracts, like vanilla extract)

    Yes – most popular form of value-priced organic spirits


    Most easily recognizable; abundant in fragrant flora aromas that are obtained from the rich grape skins and pulp through the process of juicing; earthy, not sweet; scent is prominent even when layered.

    Most commonly used to make wine



    Crisp, spicy, reliably consistent aroma profile (when sourced from different reputable distillers).

    Primarily used in the beverage industry (think beer)



    Naturally the most neutral aroma, taste, and character profile; little to no odor; produces most neutral alcohol available.

    Tinctures, liniments, perfumes; good for any project that requires a neutral alcohol base, including cocktails (think vodka)


    Green corncob in circle representing organic corn

    Practical Applications of 200 Proof Food Grade Ethanol

    Pure, 200 proof ethanol from CulinarySolvent.com is indispensable in a diverse range of applications, each tapping into the chemical's unique characteristics and androgenous-level safety. 

    In the cosmetics and beauty industry, it is a vital solvent and preservative, essential for blending ingredients in products like perfumes and lotions and acting as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, surface disinfectant sprays, and hand sanitizers. In the food sector, it enhances flavors and aromas as a solvent in extracts, extends shelf life as a preservative in baked goods, and is used in producing certain food colorings. Notably, in botanical extraction, including the processing of CBD, pure non-denatured 200 proof alcohol is crucial for effectively extracting essential oils and compounds from plants, ensuring purity and potency without risk of carrying over toxic additives from the denatured alcohol.

    In the pharmaceutical industry, it dissolves active ingredients in medications, serves as a preservative, and disinfects medical equipment and surfaces.  Artisans and specialists from luthiers seeking the cleanest French polish possible, to additive manufacturers seeking consistent results when handling precision components.  The high purity of 200 proof alcohol offers efficiency and adherence to stringent quality standards across these diverse applications over 190 proof grain alcohol alternatives.

    Important Considerations when Buying Food Grade Ethanol

    When in the market for 200 proof food grade ethanol, several critical considerations ensure you make an informed and safe purchase. Here's what to keep in mind:

    Supplier Reputation: Before committing to a purchase, dive into the online supplier's reputation. Customer reviews and testimonials can shed light on the quality of the ethanol, the efficiency of customer service, and the reliability of shipping practices. Opt for a supplier known for their dependability and excellent customer feedback.

    What to do: Conduct thorough online research for customer reviews on platforms like Google, industry forums, and the supplier’s social media pages. Positive reviews and testimonials are strong indicators of reliability and quality.

    Certifications and Compliance: It's crucial that your supplier meets the necessary regulatory standards and holds the appropriate certifications for producing and selling food-grade ethanol. Search for key certifications such as FDA registration and evidence of adherence to food safety regulations, ensuring the ethanol's safety and legal standing.

    What to do: Request documentation or look for information on the supplier's website about their FDA registration and any certifications proving compliance with food safety regulations. This verifies the ethanol’s suitability for your needs.

    Purity and Quality Assurance: The purity of the 200 proof food grade ethanol is paramount. Investigate how the ethanol is distilled, the source of the raw materials, and the quality control steps the supplier takes. True food-grade ethanol should be devoid of impurities, adhering to the highest purity standards.

    What to do: Inquire about or research the distillation process and the source of the raw materials used by the supplier. Ensure the ethanol is certified as free from contaminants and meets high purity standards.

    Packaging and Shipping Practices: Assess how the supplier handles packaging and shipping. The ethanol should be packaged following strict safety guidelines and shipped via carriers that understand how to handle such substances, reducing the risk of spillage or damage in transit.

    What to do: Check the supplier’s website or contact them directly to understand their packaging methods and the carriers they use for shipping. Look for mentions of safety measures and compliance with regulations to ensure safe delivery.

    Price and Value: While cost is a significant factor, consider the broader picture of what you're getting for your money. Quality and supplier reliability should come before the price to ensure you're investing in a product that fully meets your needs.

    What to do: Compare prices from multiple suppliers, taking into account the quality and reliability of their product, as well as any additional services they offer. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best when it comes to something as crucial as food grade ethanol.

    Customer Support and Return Policy: Understanding the supplier's approach to customer service and their return policy is essential. A supplier with easily accessible customer support and a clear return policy offers peace of mind, knowing you have recourse should the product not meet your expectations.

    What to do: Before making a purchase, attempt to engage with the supplier’s customer service to assess their responsiveness and helpfulness. Review the return policy carefully to ensure you understand your rights and options if the product doesn’t meet your expectations.

    Legal Considerations: Familiarize yourself with any legal restrictions or guidelines surrounding the purchase and utilization of 200 proof food-grade ethanol in your area. Compliance with all relevant laws and regulations is non-negotiable for lawful purchase and use.

    What to do: Research your local laws and regulations regarding the purchase, storage, and use of 200 proof food grade ethanol. This might involve consulting legal resources or contacting local regulatory bodies to ensure full compliance.

    About Buying Food Grade Ethanol Locally

    Attempting to find food grade ethanol through local sources often proves to be a challenging endeavor, largely due to the regulations that govern the sale and distribution of high-proof alcohol. These laws typically restrict the availability of such potent alcohol in many areas, making it difficult to locate pure, consumable ethanol in neighborhood stores.

    Moreover, individuals seeking food grade ethanol for culinary, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic projects might consider substituting it with denatured alcohol available at hardware stores or pharmacies. However, this alternative poses significant risks. Denatured alcohol contains additives that make it toxic and unsuitable for consumption or use in products that come into contact with skin. While the intention might be to replicate the effects or benefits of food grade ethanol, using denatured alcohol can lead to dire consequences, compromising safety and health.

    This common problem underscores the importance of sourcing ethanol from reputable suppliers who specialize in food grade products. While it might seem convenient to look for local alternatives, the reality is that the regulatory landscape and safety concerns make it essential to opt for products specifically labeled and intended for safe use. Purchasing food grade ethanol from a trusted online retailer or directly from a manufacturer not only ensures compliance with regulations but also guarantees the purity and safety needed for your projects.

    About Buying Food Grade Ethanol Online

    Purchasing food grade ethanol online offers a convenient and reliable solution for those in need of high-quality, pure alcohol for their culinary, cosmetic, or pharmaceutical projects. By choosing to buy online, you gain access to detailed product information, diverse packaging options, and competitive prices, all from the comfort of your home. For those looking to find a trusted online supplier that meets all these criteria, visit our food grade ethanol supplier and price page. Here, you can explore a wide range of food grade ethanol products, including 200 proof options, with comprehensive details on supplier practices, pricing, and additional insights to help you make an informed decision.

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    Understanding Permits (and if you need one)

    View our map page for quick links to your individual state rules. No permits required for California, Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas, or Ohio.

    Learn More

    Defining Common Alcohol Terms

    Understand common alcohol terms used to define and measure food grade ethanol.

    Explore Terms

    2024 Ethanol Supplier and Price Comparison

    Before making your next buying decision for food grade ethanol, visit our Supplier and Price Comparison page to choose the right product for your project.

    View Suppliers and Prices

    How to buy food grade ethanol?

    Culinary Solvent ships food grade ethanol direct to you. View these steps on how to buy food grade ethanol from CulinarySolvent.com

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    Everything to know before buying organic alcohol online.

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    Everything to know before buying food grade alcohol for perfume making recipes online.

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    At this time no permit is required to buy or ship 200 proof alcohol to California addresses (January 2024)

    Yes. Culinary Solvent is pure food grade ethanol, contains zero additives, and is safe for human consumption in tinctures, flavor extracts including vanilla, edible decorations, and organic food coloring applications.

    Yes, ethanol is a type of alcohol, specifically referred to as "ethyl alcohol." It is the alcohol most commonly associated with beverage uses and is often what is meant by "alcohol" in everyday conversation.