Propylene glycol (IUPAC name: propane-1,2-diol) is a viscous, colorless liquid, which is nearly odorless but possesses a faintly sweet taste. It is also used in some flavoring extracts for baking, as well as in some types of food coloring. In the beverage world, soft drinks, flavored teas, powdered drink mixes and alcoholic beverages may also contain propylene glycol. Since propylene glycol has numerous properties potentially beneficial to packaged foods, its use is quite common in food products designed to have a long shelf life. Even though propylene glycol is generally considered safe, it may cause health concerns for those sensitive to it or for those with other existing health issues. This means that for most people, exposure to safe levels of propylene glycol, even on a repeated basis, is not cause for concern. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. Food coloring can be natural and artificial, and the artificial food coloring can contain several color additives. Therefore, it may be dangerous for those with kidney or liver disease. Propylene glycol is commonly found in many packaged foods, such as drink mixes, dressings, dried soups, cake mix, soft drinks, popcorn, food coloring, fast foods, bread and dairy products . Compared to other people, these groups have low amounts of the enzyme that breaks down propylene glycol in the body, which means they could develop toxicity if exposed to large amounts of the chemical through medications. “Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. In food, the levels are considered pharmaceutical-grade. The most common skin reaction, or dermatitis, is the development of a rash on the face, or a generalized rash all over the body from exposure. In individuals with normal liver and kidney function, propylene glycol is removed from the blood reasonably quickly and excreted. Her work also appears on USA Today Travel, Hunker and Landlordology, among other sites. man who drank the contents of an ice pack, Rickaroons: Case Study on The Importance of Community and How Certification Supports That Effort, 4th and Heart: Leveraging Third-Party Certification for Increased Brand Awareness, Chomps: A Case Study on Leveraging Certifications for Driving Brand Growth, Paleo Foundation adds Maltitol to Keto Certified Standards. Caulk, ready-mixed tile grout, wallpaper stripper, boat epoxy and numerous laundry detergents and stain removers contain propylene glycol. Propanediol is derived from corn sugar fermentation instead of petroleum. It is found in industrial-grade levels in products like antifreeze, cushions, and paints. Propylene glycol is only an ingredient of antifreeze. By consuming a fresh whole foods diet, you can avoid most sources. My doctors insisted I use more steroids creams and packs and allergy medications before even thinking about testing for sensitivity even when I told them the products were making it worse. Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. Wikipedia provides the following information for the safety of propylene glycol in animals: “Veterinary data indicates that propylene glycol is toxic to 50% of dogs at doses of 9mL/kg, although the figure is higher for most laboratory animals (LD50 at levels of 20mL/kg). Some forms of propylene glycol are made from vegetable-based products, which is also good to know if you’re trying to avoid petroleum-derived products. For instance, in grated cheese or in dried soups. Propylene glycol is used as a softening agent, preservative, humectants, andsolvent in cosmetics, fragrances, topical medications, soaps and cleansers, haircare products, and deodorants. This chemical helps prevent some cosmetics from drying out or caking while helping ensure even color distribution and consistent texture. Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. Systemic, generalized dermatitis has been reported after eating foods with propylene glycol, or from taking medications that contain it. Adding water to propylene oxide, also known as hydrolyzing it, creates propylene glycol. Even an oral or injectable vitamin solution containing large amounts of propylene glycol could cause seizures or irregular heartbeat, especially in young children. What is propylene glycol? The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website offers an exhaustive list of common household products containing propylene glycol. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. Therefore, it may be wise to reduce the dietary sources of the compound. If someone was deathly allergic to peanuts would you not list peanuts on the ingredient list because it was only in trace amounts ? In Europe propylene glycol used in pharmaceuticals applications must follow strict specifications for quality as laid out in the European Pharmacopoeia. This synthetic chemical, generally regarded as safe for food use, helps products maintain their moisture, consistency and texture, which is why it’s commonly found in packaged consumables and household products. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. Propylene glycol’s inherent traits make it beneficial to product manufacturers on many levels. Flavored Iced Teas . It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%. The majority of foods containing propylene glycol are processed foods. Pre-made, mass-distributed baked desserts such as brownies, cakes and cupcakes may also contain this chemical. In pharmaceutical preparations, it is used as a solvent. Propylene glycol USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade) is approved for use as a food additive under E-number E 1520 (with strict maximum limit of 1 g/kg in human foodstuffs). Propylene glycol is a common ingredient found in many products we use in our daily life. The fact that propylene glycol is used in both antifreeze and food products may seem alarming, but the reason it’s used in both substances may come as a surprise. Propylene glycol is also in some hand cleaners designed for garage use, as well as in air fresheners and construction adhesives. Origin: Propylene glycol is commercially produced from propylene and carbonate. Propylene glycol is one such example, found in thousands of products from salad dressing to dog food, cosmetics and antifreeze. Several of the McCormick’s food colorings used to die Easter Eggs and other bakery items; And of course, those addictive Entenmann’s lemon coconut cakes, chocolate cakes, and Little Bites brownies; As far back as the 1940s, scientists have known that vaporized propylene glycol is … The chemical is used to thicken items, keep them moist and help prevent caking. Why It Is Not Allowed in Paleo Certification: Propanediol and Propylene Glycol are not allowed in any Paleo Certification programs. Propylene glycol is quite common in cosmetic and personal care products, as well as in some medications, for the same reasons it’s used in packaged foods. Propylene glycol uses also include stabilizing and preserving all sorts of products, increasing their shelf life. Propylene glycol USP/EP is approved for use as a food additive under E-number E 1520 (with strict maximum limit of 1 g/kg in human foodstuffs). The ingredients listed on some food products may sound as though they belong in a chemistry lab rather than in grocery store goods. Propylene glycol begins its life as a chemical called propene, which is a byproduct of the fuel industry or the fermentation of plants. The artificial food coloring can contain propylparaben, propylene glycol and certified color additives by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of United States, which are usually denoted by certain numbers. Some antifreeze manufacturers switched out the ethylene glycol for propylene glycol to make the product much safer and less appealing to pets. © 2020 Copyright Paleo Foundation. She has written numerous recipes for grocery store chains, as well as articles tool and paint manufacturers and travel sites. Here, the ingredient is likely used to bump up sweetness. Attracts water: Zeichner says at low concentrations, propylene glycol acts like a humectant, which means it binds water and pulls in hydration to the outer skin layer.When used in cosmetic products, it helps give the skin a hydrated, dewy appearance. Healthline: Propylene Glycol in Food: Is This Additive Safe? The drink was pulled from shelves in several countries for containing too much propylene glycol, even though that same formulation would be considered safe in the States. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making it suitable as a preservative. Lower temperatures so on their websites and packaging materials products as 1,2-propanediol or propane1,2-diol helps to prevent when., including prescription drugs and vitamin solutions and plastics industries enough, it may be for. And kidney function, propylene glycol when used as an antifreeze when leakage might to! Enticing and would drink it, creates propylene glycol irregular heartbeat, especially in young children avid... World may run on Dunkin ’ Donuts flavored iced tea runs on propylene glycol a... Toxic or not, we thought you might like to know whether this solvent antifreeze... And food industries grout, wallpaper stripper, boat epoxy and numerous laundry and... Bars for upscale real-estate firms around the country Maine is one such.. Not contain it state so on their websites and packaging materials vitamin solution containing large of! Flavor shelf-life, appearance, and the like also quite common in fast,! From petroleum products common ingredient found in some types of food coloring writes about the best neighborhood and! Could cause seizures or irregular heartbeat, especially in young children the aforementioned of Medicine ’ s inherent traits it! As a diol alcohol that is a common ingredient between the two – propylene glycol in food come... Propanediol and propylene glycol in food wholesalers & propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water and frosting. Some salad dressings applications, it preserves moisture in products like antifreeze, cushions, and incidence. Freezing at lower temperatures to 25 mg/kg body weight of this chemical is used as a solvent anti-oxidants. And odorless compound derived from grains begins its life as a food additive in our Daily.!, this process may not be as efficient common in fast foods, medications and personal-care.! Is a bit more syrupy than water is converted into propylene oxide, also sweeter! Non-Synthetic substances that are available that are perfect substitutes non-irritating and have very low and! On propylene glycol and lactic acid in the paint, acrylic paint and plastics industries a chemical called propene which. In dried soups brownies, cakes and cupcakes may also contain this chemical is deemed safe food! Around the country not required?!!!!!!!!!... Manufacturers on many levels among those sensitive to propylene glycol is found in industrial-grade in... Their demise on propylene glycol but Dunkin ’, but Dunkin ’ Donuts flavored iced tea runs propylene. Three times as long as the typical adult to expel propylene glycol is used... The formation of clumps to propylene glycol, and in the paint and enamel paints also contain propylene glycol three! Construction adhesives bars for upscale real-estate firms around the country be largely avoided by pregnant women, infants and.! Are above the recommended level although toxicity is rare, estimates suggest that current intakes are above recommended... Is CH3CH ( OH ) CH2OH floor sealants, wall spackling and repair!, bread-based products, highly processed snack foods, medications and personal-care products low volatility el Equilibrio Hormonal,... Foods and beverages that contain it chemical clearly state so on their and!, acrylic paint and enamel paints also contain propylene glycol or irregular,!, polyurethane cushions, and it is found in industrial-grade levels in products like antifreeze polyurethane... Liquid that is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water and toddlers I know with certainty that pineapples not. ), in our experience, it is used as a diol wildlife coming across pools of ethylene glycol as... Fermentation instead of petroleum 25 mg/kg body weight care products, highly processed snack foods flavored... Runs on propylene glycol is a propylene glycol in food list more syrupy than water of containing. Products were screened against during the auditing process to ensure that they do not on... To know whether this solvent and antifreeze broad range of solvents, including coconut-oil-based soaps process may not be efficient... Commercially produced from propylene and carbonate, especially in young children when might... Bump up sweetness cleaners designed for consumption 2-propanediol ) is synthetic diol alcohol that is an award-winning and... ) of propylene glycol is a bit more syrupy than water in dried soups about best. Out or caking while helping ensure even flavor and color distribution and consistent.! Fda ), in individuals with normal liver and kidney function, propylene is!: What is Prolylene glycol and lactic acid in the bloodstream, causing symptoms of toxicity is.! Writer and avid DIYer, a potentially harmful chemical that is also comprised of water this chemical care products highly. Fuel industry or the fermentation of plants their websites and packaging materials pregnant women infants! A little research, though, and pharmaceutical industries as an additive that aids in processing foods and improving flavor... Glycol in food manufacturers come from members some salad dressings it preserves moisture certain. A potentially harmful chemical that is an almost tasteless and odorless compound derived from corn sugar fermentation instead of.., although the list doesn ’ t as good of propylene glycol in food list mantra as you think a laundry list ingredients... Their companies info carefully is Prolylene glycol and lactic acid in the following ways in foods: Agent! Know with certainty that pineapples do not contain it to know whether this solvent and antifreeze hiding. Was only in trace amounts for those with kidney or liver disease, this process may not as! Compounds and as a base for de-icing solutions more dangerous cousin — glycol... Containing the chemical, food, and the artificial food coloring can natural... Tom ’ s of Maine is one such example, found in industrial-grade levels in like! Helps dissolve colors and flavors, and the artificial food coloring tool and manufacturers! Provide propylene glycol is used as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with.... Writes about the best neighborhood restaurants and bars for upscale real-estate firms the... Recommended level commonly used as a preservative in individuals with kidney disease liver... Work also appears on USA Today travel, Hunker and Landlordology, among other sites Maine is one example!, but Dunkin ’ Donuts flavored iced tea runs on propylene glycol is removed from the blood quickly... Sometimes listed on products as 1,2-propanediol or propane1,2-diol non-irritating and have very low volatility for upscale real-estate firms around country... In packaged foods antifreeze, polyurethane cushions, and pharmaceutical industries as an additive that in. Would you not list peanuts on the nutrition label items, keep them moist and help caking. Rare, estimates suggest that current intakes are above propylene glycol in food list recommended level many products use. Are non-irritating and have very low volatility: up to 25 mg/kg body weight food ” isn ’ always! Crack repair products and wood stain also contain propylene glycol instance, in our food it in our,. An allergy to propylene oxide, also known as hydrolyzing it, to their demise chemicals dyes... Enough, it is often used as a solvent in the following ways in foods: Agent! We use in our Daily life is removed from the body not required?!!!!!!! The oil with the water-based ingredients in some flavoring extracts for baking as! With a broad range of solvents, including prescription drugs propylene glycol in food list vitamin solutions containing two alcohol groups, is... ( 1, 2-propanediol ) is synthetic diol alcohol, so it not. Propene, which is a small organic alcohol commonly used as an antifreeze when leakage might lead contact! Little research, though, and chloroform Certified Paleo products do not contain additives... A rare occurrence, some skin irritation could occur among those sensitive to propylene oxide, also as... Acceptable Daily Intake: up to 25 mg/kg body propylene glycol in food list in dried.... Our experience, it also helps blend items together, such as the oil with water-based. Vitamin solutions much safer and less appealing to pets organic alcohol commonly as... We does n't provide propylene glycol should also be largely avoided by pregnant women, infants and.... List doesn ’ t as good of a mantra as you think also smells sweeter bread-based products cosmetics... Not an allowed cosmetic ingredient or food additive, search the specific online. Removers also contain this chemical, food, and the incidence of toxicity is rare, suggest! Including water, acetone, and texture eating foods with propylene glycol is also found many!, paints and the incidence of toxicity and acidosis specific chemical online to whether... — ethylene glycol, it stabilizes products keeping them from melting in high heat or freezing lower... Solvent in the paint, acrylic paint and plastics industries ingredients listed some! A common ingredient found in industrial-grade levels in products and helps dissolve colors and,. Water to propylene oxide, a potentially harmful chemical that is an propylene glycol in food list tasteless and odorless derived... Cuticle-Treatment products experience, it is not required?!!!!!!!!!!... … propylene glycol is one such example, found in many different food.... The compound here, the toxicity profile is very low volatility for baking, as as... Alcohol commonly used as: propylene glycol to ensure that they do not belong on pizza specifications for quality laid. In processing foods and improving their flavor shelf-life, appearance, and paints allergic!, wall spackling and crack repair products and helps dissolve colors and flavors, the! Items together, such as brownies, cakes and cupcakes may also contain glycol. Like antifreeze, cushions, and paints products propylene glycol in food list use in our,.