E-liquid is the mixture in an e-cigarette that is heated up and produced the vapor. Along with water and nicotine, the key ingredients of e-liquid are:
- Propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin (PG and VG);
- Glyceryl acetate;
Propylene glycol (PG) is an odorless liquid used to speed up absorption to the wick of the e-cig, meaning vapers can enjoy the experience quickly. It’s also used to make the flavors more intense.
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is like PG except it is derived from plant oils and is a thicker substance. The thick liquid creates thicker plumes compares to PG but does not bring out the flavors as well.
Glyceryl acetate comes from VG and is also used to give the e-liquids a stronger, more intense flavor.
However, while these are consistent across all e-liquids, the flavorings are different. Here is a list of the most common components and the flavors they bring.
Vanillin is the world’s most popular flavor and fragrance compound. It is the primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean, giving the characteristic flavor and aroma of vanilla.
Ethyl vanillin is the first essence synthesized by human beings, was synthesized by Dr. M. Hallman and Dr. G. Twyman in 1874. It has a stronger note than vanillin and commonly used in cocoa products.
Linalool is one of the most widely distributed flavoring chemicals in nature, over 200 species of plants produce linalool. The aroma of the ingredient is strongly floral, resembling lavender, with some hints of citrus. Despite its primary uses in perfumed cosmetic products, it is also used as a flea, fruit fly and cockroach insecticide.
Ethyl butyrate is naturally in the fruit of plants, e.g. apples, apricots, bananas, plums etc. It is commonly used as artificial flavoring resembling orange juice or pineapple in alcoholic beverages (e.g. martinis, daiquiris etc.). In addition, ethyl butyrate is often also added to orange juice, as most associate its odor with fresh orange juice.
Ethyl maltol has a sweet sugary, caramelized, jammy, strawberry-like odor reminiscent of candy floss. It relates to the more common flavoring agent, maltol by replacement of methyl group with an ethyl group.
Limonene takes its name from lemon peels; it is commonly used in food manufacturing and some medicines, such as a flavoring to mask the bitter taste of alkaloids, and as a fragrance ingredient for cosmetic products.
Vanillin PG Acetal
Vanillin PG acetal is vanillin derivative which is resulted from reaction of vanillin and PG.
Triacetin has been reported to be found in several natural products, e.g. papaya. It is a commonly used carrier for flavor and fragrances.
Natural cis-3-hexen-1-ol and its esters, such as acetate and butyrate. are by-products obtained from Mentha arvensis (corn mint) during distillation of the essential oil. Natural cis-3-hexen-1-ol is also known as ‘leaf alcohol’ for its characteristic fresh and strong green grass aroma. It is used as a refreshing top note in delicate floral fragrances such as Muguet and Lilac.
Cis-3-Hexenyl acetate is also a natural product obtained during fractional distillation of rectified mint terpenic fraction and imparts a characteristic green floral fragrance. As well as being vital for natural leafy-green aroma, it adds a nice green, banana-like profile to fruit flavors. Its tropical nuance is excellent for mango, peach, passion fruit and kiwi flavors.