What are Diketones and Why are They Used in E-Juices?
Almost every single e-juice company goes above and beyond to describe their products’ flavor profiles to customers, in hopes of enticing them by appealing to their taste buds. But rarely does a company disclose how they managed to produce the flavor that they’re so confident will satisfy your palate.
We know that e-liquids consist of four primary ingredients: vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), nicotine and flavoring. But flavoring is a blanket term, and few e-liquid brands give you an indication as to what that flavoring precisely is.
At The Vape Mall, we strive to be as transparent with our customers as possible, which is why we’re happy to share how we source our flavoring ingredients. We’ll be talking about one category of flavoring ingredients known as diketones. These ingredients are widely misunderstood, so this piece will attempt to clear things up for vapers who are confused about what these ingredients are, and what they do.
Diketones: What They are and What They Do
When the topic of flavoring ingredients in e-liquids comes up, many vapers assume that all flavoring extracts are derived from natural sources. They think that a strawberry-flavored e-juice contains real strawberry extract, and that a custardy vape has some sort of dairy-derived compounds. But, flavoring a vape is a lot more complicated than that.
Diketones are a class of flavoring compounds that are synthetic in nature, and the reality is that a lot of vape juices contain synthetic ingredients. Now, there’s a common belief that synthetic flavoring ingredients are, by default, bad. Many people feel that using these ingredients implies that a company is copping out by opting for cheaper, lower-quality ingredients, and that many of these ingredients are likely to lead to health risks.
In truth, there’s no objective rule that natural is good, and synthetic is bad. Many naturally derived ingredients are dangerous, and many life-saving medicines contain chemically derived ingredients.
Therefore, even though diketones are synthetic, that doesn’t mean that they’re inherently bad. In terms of what they offer to e-liquids, diketones are typically used to produce creamy or buttery flavor notes. Therefore, you’ll likely find them in e-liquids with creamy or buttery flavor profiles, such as custards, ice creams and popcorns.
There are three primary ingredients that belong to the diketones category:
- Acetyl Propionyl
All of these ingredients can be found in a lot of packaged food items that we consume regularly. Many manufacturers also use these ingredients to flavor their vape juices.
The Safety of Diketones: What the Research Says
You may remember that a while back, the public was frantic about a phenomenon known as “popcorn lung.” This came from a story about workers in a popcorn factory developing a rare respiratory condition from inhaling high levels of diacetyl, which was used to give packaged popcorn its buttery flavor.
To date, there have been no recorded instances of someone developing this condition from vaping an e-liquid containing diacetyl. But, even so, the majority of e-liquid companies have chosen to abstain from using it in their formulas, despite the fact that it is considered safe by OSHA.
The other two diketones are commonly found in e-liquid formulas, and they are regulated and deemed safe in food products but have not been researched enough for vape products, and have not been linked to any harmful effects. If you’re a fan of creamy vapes, there’s a good chance that you’ve been vaping these ingredients all along without even knowing it, because it’s hard to create that creaminess without them.
So, to clarify: There is no research stating that vaping these diketones is harmful. And vaping has been around for over a decade at this point, so we’d likely know by now if vaping these ingredients was dangerous.
Either way, if you are hesitant about vaping certain ingredients, you should feel free to contact an e-liquid company and ask them what ingredients they use to produce their flavors. A company that has integrity will have no problem sharing this information with consumers.If you are on the fence about vaping these types of flavors it is best to avoid them all together until more research is done.
Diketones Remain Widely Misunderstood
But the reality is that they’re found in many commercial e-liquids, and many have been vaping them for years with no negative effects.
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