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Chemistry > Solutions > Danger of Drinking Propylene Glycol
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Danger of Drinking Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a drug that industries widely use in many cosmetics and hygiene products as a food additive or ingredient. In addition, the US and European health officials proclaim it as usually secure for food use.

However, as it is also an element in antifreeze, it has become contentious. This had resulted in health issues about the potential toxic impacts of eating products containing it. This paper examines what is propylene glycol, its uses, and whether it is harmful to health or not.

Structure of Propylene Glycolpropylene glycol

It is a synthetic food additive belonging to the same category of chemicals as alcohol. It is a mildly syrupy liquid, colourless, odourless, a little thicker than water and has almost no flavour.

Also, it can also dissolve some materials better than water and is also useful for moisture retention. As a food additive, this makes it very beneficial, so it can be discovered in a broad range of processed ingredients and beverages.

Other designations that include is regarded as:

  • Methyl ethyl glycol
  • 1,2-propanediol
  • 1,2-dihydroxy propane
  • Trimethyl glycol

Sometimes people mistake propylene glycol with ethylene glycol because, owing to their small melting points, as industries use both of these in antifreeze. They’re not the same material, though.

Side Effect of Propylene Glycol

Ethylene glycol is extremely toxic to individuals and we do not use it in food products. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has “usually acknowledged as secure”. Besides, we can use it as an additive for immediate and indirect meals in the US.

In Europe, they use it in meat as the colours, emulsifiers, antioxidants, and enzymes, with up to 0.45 grams per pound (1 gram/kg) allowable in the ultimate meat item.

By contrast, one individual who acquired toxicity signs received 213 grams of propylene glycol per day. This is more than 100 times what we find in the median diet for an individual of 120 pounds (60-kg). There is only one recorded instance of food-borne toxicity.

A person who consumes very big quantities of propylene glycol-containing cinnamon whiskey and discovered himself unconscious. Although his symptoms link to alcohol as well, some may ascribe to propylene glycol.

Overall, we don’t find any other instances of adverse or toxic impacts of propylene glycol in ingredients apart from individuals with allergies and one instance of unnecessary consumption.

Since present intakes are predictable to be above the suggested rate. However, it may be important to decrease nutritional sources wherever possible, particularly as the primary sources are extremely processed products.

Propylene Glycol in Food

Common foods include soft drinks, marinades, and dressings, cake mixing, frosting, popcorn, food colouring, quick foods, bread and milk goods.

Unfortunately, if we use propylene glycol instead of a direct component as a holder or solvent for another additive, such as taste or colour, it may not be mentioned on the food label.

Most of the ingredients it contains, however, are extremely processed junk foods. You can prevent most sources without too much difficulty by eating a new, good, whole diet.

Solved Question for You

Ques. What are some of the food components that one needs to not eat in order to avoid Propylene Glycol?

  1. Soft drinks 
  2. Dressings
  3. Cake mixing 
  4. All of these

Answer. The correct answer is option D. 

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