Is Propylene Glycol Safe to Eat Home News Industry News
Is Propylene Glycol Safe to Eat
Yes, it almost has no side effects and the safety has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as well as the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

Some consumers are concerned when they see propylene glycol in the ingredients list of their food, and question how we can eat the food with the ingredient made of antifreeze which is harmful to humans.

Propylene glycol is a multi-functional ingredient generally recognized as safe (GRAS) that can be used as an anticaking agent, dough strengthener, emulsifier, humectant, solvent, stabilizer, thickener, texturizer and others in food. The following are the approved food uses with the maximum levels (2):

Seasonings and flavorings 97%
Confections and frostings 24%
Nuts and nut products 5%
Frozen dairy products 2.5%
Others 2.0%
Propylene glycol (E1520) is an authorised food additive in the European Union (EU) that can be used as a carrier in “colours, emulsifiers and antioxidants”, enzymes, all flavourings and all nutrients. (3)

Safety re-evaluation in 2018
After the studies of metabolism, genotoxicity, chronic & subchronic toxicity, reproductive & developmental toxicity, and other researches, EFSA concluded there was no reason to revise the current ADI of 25 mg/kg bw per day, which was established in 1996.

EFSA did not consider propylene glycol as an allergen as a food additive. Also, although with low irritant potency, no allergy potential or immunotoxicity of propylene glycol has been reported when used in cosmetics until 2011 by Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR). (4)

Function Class: food additives, carrier solvent, glazing agent, humectant. (5)

Acceptable daily intake: ADI “0-25 mg/kg bw” set in 1973. (6)

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