Vape Flavourings Explained
We’ve all heard a lot about the use of nicotine in e-liquids, and if you’ve really done your research, then you’ll know about the role that propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine play in vape liquid. What is rarely talked about is e-liquid flavourings. From high street shops to e-liquid wholesale suppliers, you’ll find vape flavours being sold everywhere. Indeed, they are the draw to vaping for many new users, especially when you factor in the versatility of taste compared to tobacco.
But what exactly makes up the flavourings in e-liquid, and how safe are they? This blog will outline the ingredients that are most commonly used in vape flavours UK and how the vaping world has responded to worries about the use of certain flavourings on the market.
How Flavourings Fit in With E-liquids
Flavourings are what sets e-liquids apart and keep users coming back to them. With both artificial and organic flavours being used in e-liquids, they might differ in their atomic make-up, but both types share the methodology of blending. Every e-liquid’s flavourings are blended into the propylene glycol base of the vape liquid along with the nicotine. Propylene glycol is used as a base compound in all e-liquids and is used further afield in food manufacturing and pharmaceuticals as well as an ingredient in solvents such as anti-freeze and hydraulic brake fluids. Don’t let these last two put you off though, propylene glycol in its many forms is safe to use in ingestible products.
Most Commonly Used Flavourings
There is a range of chemicals that are commonly found in flavourings for e-liquids. These include vanillin, ethyl maltol and ethyl butyrate, which, in a study on flavourings used in e-liquids conducted by Tobacco Control and Health Experts in the Netherlands, were all present in over 25 percent of a batch of 100 different e-liquids.
Natural flavourings are harder than you’d think to get right, in part because they degrade quicker than their artificial alternatives and can be harder to source for companies. Natural flavourings utilise essential oils, essences and extracts from the real thing, and add them to a whole mixture of other flavourings to create the taste of your e-liquid, whatever it may be.
Some of the best vape liquid brands in the UK pride themselves on their synthetic e-liquid flavours being as authentic as their organic counterparts. Synthetic flavouring tastes are based on certain chemicals that appear within, say, apples, that are then engineered artificially and used with a range of other chemicals to recreate the taste of apples. These flavouring blends may not have real apples in them but give the impression to the tastebuds of being so due to the artificial chemicals used.
What Flavourings Should You Avoid?
There are a number of chemicals used in artificial flavourings that have been the focal point of scrutiny from the media. This started after workers at a diacetyl factory in the US died from lung infections thanks to the intense amount of vapour they were inhaling, vapour that was regularly used in buttery flavoured e-liquids. The fact of the matter is that many e-liquids use government health agency ingredients approved for ingestion but not necessarily for inhalation.
Whilst diacetyl has been all but phased out of e-liquid manufacturing, other chemicals such as cinnamaldehyde and vanillin are still regularly used in e-liquids and have been known to damage the lungs as irritants or toxins. It’s best then, to avoid these flavourings and to instead opt for other tried and tested flavourings that do not have the same side effects.