Food grade Propylene Glycol is used in a plethora of products, everything from pharmaceuticals to snack foods. It finds long-standing uses in personal care, flavors and fragrances, feed applications, and many other food and pharmaceutical formulations.
The proprietary Archer Daniels Midland Glycols technology uses a catalytic process known as hydrogenolysis to readily convert glycerin into propylene glycol. ADM uses renewable and sustainable glycerol which is a byproduct in the production of biodiesel from vegetable oils. This glycerol is then cleaned and sold or used as an input in the production of propylene glycol. The process of changing glycerol to propylene glycol is a simple chemical reaction that uses no environmentally harmful chemicals and uses only water for solvent; thus minimizing risk of harm to the environment.
For direct food applications, propylene glycol is primarily used as a solvent and carrier for food flavoring formulations for processed foods, colors, anti-oxidants, enzymes, and emulsifiers. It is also often used as a processing agent to extract flavoring from natural materials like vanilla.
The advantages of using propylene glycol are the variances with respect as to how they are used.
- As an emulsifier
- As an excipient
- To increase the boiling temperature
- To decrease the freezing temperature
Propylene Glycol has been proven to be safe and has never proved to be a carcinogen in lab animals. It has been used safely for more than 50 years and is FDA and EPA approved.