I handle the FSQA role for a very large catering company. One of our clients wants to incorporate camellia oil (tea seed oil) into dishes served at their event. The question has been raised as to whether this is considered food safe.
I've long ago found that different levels of government (FDA vs state vs local health departments) have different opinions of the safety of different food additives, ingredients, etc, so I don't expect a definitive answer, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with camellia oil in food?
I know it has many uses in the cosmetics industries and as a substitute for mineral oil in other countries. In the US the alternative health crowd suggests its use in cooking and frying. A search through the FDA's GRAS database doesn't come up with anything.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.