What is Vegetable Glycerin?
Vegetable glycerin, also known as vegetable glycerol, is a clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm oil, soy, or coconut oil. It’s widely used in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries due to its versatility and moisturizing properties.
How is Vegetable Glycerin Made?
Vegetable glycerin is produced through a process called hydrolysis. In this process, plant oils are placed under the combined force of pressure, temperature, and water. The ester bond breaks and separates the glycerin from fatty acids. The glycerin is then absorbed by water, separated from the solution, and continually distilled until it reaches a high level of purity.
Is Vegetable Glycerin Vegan?
Yes, vegetable glycerin is vegan as it is derived from plant oils. However, it’s essential to note that glycerin can also be derived from animal fats. So, when you come across an ingredient listed simply as “glycerin” in a product, it’s not always clear whether it’s of animal or vegetable origin. If it’s specified as “vegetable glycerin,” you can be confident that it’s vegan.
Vegetable Glycerin in a Vegan Diet
In food applications, vegetable glycerin is used as a sweetener, preservative, or to maintain moisture levels. It’s found in a variety of products like baked goods, candy, fudge, pasta, and processed fruits and vegetables.
In the cosmetic industry, vegetable glycerin is a popular ingredient due to its hydrating properties. It’s found in soaps, lotions, and makeup, among other products.
In conclusion, vegetable glycerin is a vegan product as it’s derived from plant oils. However, be aware of ingredients listed simply as “glycerin,” as they could be derived from either plant or animal sources. Always check the product’s details or reach out to the manufacturer if you’re unsure.