Glycerine Has Many Beneficial Uses


It’s very likely that you’ve been a consumer of glycerine for most of your life without even knowing it. Vegetable glycerine is a sugar alcohol that comes from plants. It is a clear liquid with a slightly syrupy consistency that’s typically made from coconut, soybean and palm oils. It’s used in the cosmetics and food industry as it is odourless and has a mild, slightly sweet flavour. 

Origins of Glycerine

The substance is believed to have been accidentally discovered over two centuries ago during the process of heating a blend of olive oil and lead monoxide to manufacture paint. The liquid was used casually until the 1800s when it was determined to be an important ingredient in making dynamite.

The substance was combined with nitric acid in a chemical process called nitration. The result was nitroglycerine. Nitroglycerine was discovered by an Italian chemist named Ascanio Sobrero in 1847, who initially referred to it as “pyroglycerine” and warned others against using it in letters to other chemists, as well as in a journal article. 

One of Sobrero’s students was Alfred Nobel, who disregarded Sobrero’s warnings and went on to be awarded several patents in the applied use of nitroglycerine, which led to the invention of dynamite, gelignite and ballistite. 

Public Interest

The invention of dynamite stirred public interest in other uses for this benign substance, and many chemists and inventors set to work creating new applications for glycerine. As it was a harmless plant-based product, the food industry soon found uses for it. Anyone who has ever handled the product for a while has noticed its softening and moisturising effect on human skin, so it also found uses in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. 

These days, the substance is a common ingredient in cough remedies, suppositories, anaesthetics, and heart medications in the pharmaceutical industry. It also helps oil and water-based ingredients mix more thoroughly in the food industry. The cosmetics industry uses it in toothpaste, soap, lotions, deodorants and makeup.  

May Help Athletic Performance

As more studies are being done on the substance, more useful applications are being found. For instance, it’s well-known that athletes need to stay hydrated to perform at the peak of their abilities. But it can be impractical to drink continually during certain types of physical activities. 

One analysis studied the effect of adding the substance to water to aid in the hydration capacities of athletes. It was found that adding a prescribed amount increased fluid retention by up to 50%. Another study showed that a drink made of a mixture of water and glycerine was more effective than 100% water at improving hydration during intense exercise. 

Kikoleo is a Major Producer

Kikoleo is a major producer of PALMERA Refined Glycerine. This highly versatile and multi-functional product conforms to USP, EP and BP standards. The uses for our product have expanded to include surface coatings, industrial lubricants, paper, tobacco products, inks, textiles and urethan polymers. To learn more about the valuable applications of this product, contact us directly. 






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