We might have a new option for people with allergies to PG.
A molecule which can be used instead of PG (propylene glycol) was recently approved for food use by FEMA. No, not that FEMA… this is the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association.
Since 1958, FEMA’s panel of experts has been the main force in getting new flavor additives approved for food. Their recommendation for safe use levels is what is called GRAS or generally recognized as safe. These levels depend on the type of thing a flavor is used in. A level might be higher for baked goods than beer.
Unfortunately, ecigs are still new and not enough flavors have been tested for inhalation safety. Whenever we’re vaping, we use flavors approved only for food, not inhalation.
There are special things to be concerned about with vaping compared to eating a flavoring. Right now, the main thing we need to be worried about is diacetyl (butter flavoring) and its substitutes. These are a certain type of “volatile” or small, light molecule but the carriers we use for vaping like PG and VG are much bigger, heavier molecules. (I never use diacetyl or substitutes.)
Even if this is totally safe should we use it as an alternative to all-VG blends? I think we might but I want to talk to more people with PG allergies and see what they think, so if you are allergic please get in touch.
Since my blends are typically 70% PG, I never need to add water. I know how thick and goopy all-VG blends are though I don’t know how much water is used. I’ve seen people say that VG destroys atomizers a little more quickly. Throat hit mainly comes from nicotine or other alkaloids, but I think the thickness of VG is what “softens” flavors. It seems like there could be a lot of advantages.
I’ve been looking at how this PG alternative has performed in tests and it looks good. It has the same anti-microbial properties as PG/VG and was approved to use in place of PG. The main thing is, will it be non-allergenic if it is so close to PG?
It seems like the answer to this is yes. It was tested versus PG in skin patch tests at up to 75% concentrations and showed the same level of irritation as pH 7 placebo, which is to say none.
I’ve also been testing some super-concentrated, alcohol-free extracts being sold by some of the better places who do mix PG-free. The main ingredient which is not-natural in e-liquid is PG. We could make the first PG-free, low-VG, alcohol and water free e-liquid.
This new molecule is natural and from sustainable and renewable sources, so I feel overall positive about it so far. I’ll try to have new info in a month or so and please let me know if you are interested or have any questions.