Ingredient Spotlight: Kai’s Virgin Vapor Vegetable Glycerin
Yeah, try saying that five times fast! Despite being a tongue twister, a lot of thought, research and testing has gone into our selection of the vegetable glycerin we chose to use in our e-liquids. As you’ll soon discover, not all VG is created equal!
Vegetable glycerin is a carbohydrate derived from plant oils. It can be produced from palm oil, soy or coconut oil. You’ve probably noticed that high VG e-liquids have a pleasantly sweet taste. Because vegetable glycerin (VG) clocks in with a lower calorie count than sugar, it is commonly used as a sweetener in the food industry.
VG has another valuable attribute. It absorbs moisture from the air. Because of this, VG lends itself to many uses in the food industry to keep foods moist. The cosmetics industry also takes advantage of this property, adding VG to moisturizers and body lotions to help relive dry skin. It doesn’t hurt that VG also soothes common skin problems such as rashes, burns and cuts.
Because VG is produced for such a variety of uses, it’s important to make sure the VG in your e-liquid is of high quality and not a less expensive version meant for soothing butt rash! Food grade VG is at least a step up but at, Kai’s Virgin Vapor, we use only USP (pharmaceutical grade) VG. USP stands for United States Pharmacopeia and this designation offers specific assurances:
1. The VG was created to the exacting specifications listed in it’s USP monograph
2. The manufacturer is FDA registered and licensed
3. The product has been approved by the FDA as meeting USP specifications
4. The product was made in an FDA certified facility
5. The product was manufacturer sing cGMP (current good manufacturing practices)
We believe that USP vegetable glycerin is the only acceptable VG for use in e-liquids. Vegetable glycerin that is food grade and below simply does not meet our standards.
Astute readers will also have noticed that VG can be derived from soy which raises the concern that it may contain GMO or genetically modified ingredients. According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 90% of the soybeans farmed in the United States each year are genetically modified. (1) And that’s a lot of soybeans! The U.S. grows more soybeans than any other country in the world with the exception of Brazil. So, if your VG is derived from soy, chances or high that it contains GMO’s.
Even worse, because GMO soy is genetically engineered to withstand herbicides, primarily Monsanto’s own Roundup, GMO soy is frequently drenched in glyphosate. A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found glyphosate and other residues in 100% of GMO soybeans and none in the non-GMO and organic varieties. (1)
At Kai’s Virgin Vapor, we make certain our VG does not contain GMO’s by using only USDA certified organic VG. Under USDA standards, GMO's are never allowed in an organic product. In addition, this protects you from pesky pesticide residues like those found in the Food Chemistry study. We had to go through a lengthy process with our manufacturer to get our organic VG up to pharmaceutical grade standards. Organic and pharmaceutical grade VG was not available anywhere in the world when we started out so we had to go out and make it happen! As far as we know, we’re the only e-liquid manufacturer with both of these certifications for our VG.
Lastly, our supplier certifies our VG to be free of a long list of common allergens, adulterants and impurities commonly found in VG (yeah, nobody wants to vape "bovine material" or MSG also known as "autolyzed yeast extract!"). Please see the list below. We hope knowing the extra steps we take to ensure purity and safety in our e-liquids helps you breathe a little easier.