Vegetable Glycerine

- By: Aimee Regur

Vegetable glycerin, or glycerol, is a sweet, clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm, soy, or coconut. Glycerine is a sweet, non-toxic substance used in medicines, foods and cosmetics with various grades of purification. It is a common byproduct from the production of biodiesel.

Vegetable glycerin is the backbone to all lipids, known as a triglyceride. It is produced using an extraction process called hydrolysis. During hydrolysis, oils are placed under the combined force of pressure, temperature, and water, which separates the glycerol from the fat.

Vegetable glycerin metabolizes differently than sugar and is used in low carbohydrate foods for sweetness and moisture. Unlike sugar, glycerin does not contribute to tooth decay or elevated blood sugar.

Vegetable glycerin is an effective solvent and substitute for alcohol when producing botanical and herbal extracts, specifically for those who do not wish to consume alcohol.

Cosmetically it assists in maintaining moisture, softens and lubricates. It is also used to thicken products while preserving them. It is beneficial for those with sensitive and dry skin as it helps to draw moisture up through the layers. It is often found in lotions, creams and soaps.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin and in the end, despair.”

- C.S. Lewis