The name glycerol combines two of its properties, sweet taste and viscosity. How is it used in the food industry?

Glycerol or glycerin is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in fermented foods and beverages.

It is also produced industrially by hydrolysis of vegetable or animal oils, it is also obtained as a by-product in the production of soaps.

It has the form of a colorless viscous liquid without an odor.

Due to its sweet taste, it is used as a substitute for sugar and as a humectant to protect food from drying out.

The molecular formula of E422 is C 3 H 8 O 3 .

Main important points about E422 – Glycerol:

It is a thickener and humectant .
It is a natural substance , but it is produced synthetically for industrial use.
It is suitable for children .
It does not belong to allergens .
Use in the Czech Republic is permitted.

Where is glycerol used?

Due to its versatile properties as a humectant, sweetener and thickener, glycerol is used in a wide range of foods and beverages, including nutrition and energy bars, bakery products, cake toppings, soft candies, chewing gum, spices, diet foods and dried fruit.

Glycerol is part of the production process of many types of meat products and cheeses, it is used for surface treatment. It creates a surface film on them.

It is also found in fermented foods and drinks such as beer, honey, vinegar, wine or wine vinegar.

  • Crip Crop Protein Bar, Corny Cereal Bar
  • Bonpary candies, Marschmallows
  • Bebe cookies
  • Artic chewing gum
  • Chicory syrup
  • Stevia sweetener
  • Bounty Chocolate Bar, Margot
  • Odkolek Mazenec, Bábovka

Glycerol is also found in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, it is part of suppositories to relieve constipation, moisturizing creams and toothpaste.

Is E422 healthy?

The use of glycerol in the food industry is generally considered safe and has been approved by both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Due to the fact that it does not increase insulin levels, it is also suitable as a substitute sweetener for diabetics.

Consuming large amounts can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and dehydration in more sensitive people and also in diabetics.

Use in the EU vs. USA vs. world

The use of glycerol in the food industry is permitted in the EU, USA and other countries of the world.