Propylene glycol is a versatile and important food additive. We can find it in the ingredients list on your favorite food products. And it has highly demand on the global market. If you want to start propylene glycol business, you should know exactly what is propylene glycol in food, what food contains propylene glycol, and is propylene glycol in food safe. Let is start the discovery journey together.
What Is Propylene Glycol in Food?
Propylene glycol or mono propylene glycol, often abbreviated as PG or MPG, is a synthetic organic compound that belongs to the alcohol class. It's a colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid that is recognized as safe for consumption by regulatory bodies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Propylene glycol is used in food primarily for its versatile properties, including its ability to absorb and retain moisture, a characteristic known as hygroscopicity.
Applications of Propylene Glycol in Food
Humectant: One of the key roles of propylene glycol in food is its function as a humectant. This means it helps maintain and control the moisture content in various products, keeping them fresh and preventing them from drying out. You'll find it in baked goods, like cakes and muffins, as well as in salad dressings, sauces, and more.
Food Additive: Propylene glycol is used as a food additive, classified under the code E1520 in Europe. It's often added to processed foods, ready-to-eat meals, and beverages to enhance texture and taste.
Flavor Carrier: In some cases, propylene glycol is used as a carrier for flavors and food colorings, ensuring even distribution and consistent taste.
Freezing Point Depression: This compound is also utilized to lower the freezing point of various products, making it a valuable ingredient in ice creams, sherbets, and frozen desserts. By preventing the formation of large ice crystals, it results in a smoother, creamier texture.
Food that Contains Propylene Glycol
You can encounter propylene glycolin an array of food products, from baked goods and salad dressings to ice creams and flavored beverages. It's worth noting that its presence is often listed on ingredient labels as "propylene glycol" or its code, E1520.
Numerous food manufacturers incorporate it to extend the storage duration of their processed products. Some instances of packaged foods that include this ingredient are:
# Salad dressings
# Seasoning blends
# Baking mixes for foods like cakes, muffins, cinnamon buns, biscuits, cupcakes, and pancakes
# Dried soups
# Flavored teas
# Alcoholic beverages
# Flavoring extracts
# Fast foods
# Cake frosting
# Mass-distributed baked desserts
# Dried coconut shreds
# Sour cream
# Powdered drink mixes
# Soft drinks
# Food coloring
# Highly processed snacks
# Flavored popcorn
# Ice cream flavors
# Potato salad
Is Propylene Glycol in Food Safe?
The safety of propylene glycol in food is well-established. The FDA has categorized it as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) when used in accordance with good manufacturing practices. This means that when food manufacturers follow safety guidelines, propylene glycol poses no health risks to consumers.
Mono propylene glycol plays a crucial behind-the-scenes role in maintaining the quality, taste, and texture of many of the food products we enjoy every day. These compounds, recognized as safe by regulatory authorities, are essential tools for food manufacturers in creating the daily products. It has a huge demand on international market.