Glycerin , also known as glycerol or glycerine, is a clear, odorless viscous liquid, known under the CAS number 56-81-5. It is a popular product used in a wide variety of ways, and quality is usually important.
Many home chemists, formulators, and do-it-yourselfers have questions about the different kinds, and grades of glycerin. You’ll find tech grade glycerin, tallow or animal derived glycerin, vegetable glycerin, and glycerin derived from bio diesel production. And some vegetable glycerin is kosher certified. There are many choices.
Vegetable glycerin, derived from soy and / or palm is the most widely used. It is 100 percent vegetable derived.
What about Kosher Glycerin?
You will come across “Kosher” glycerin. ” Kosher” means that a Rabbi, typically that covers an area where the material is either produced or processed and stored, has visited the plant, inspected the manufacturing and handling processes and the equipment, and storage areas, to make sure everything is up to standards he is licensed to approve. Rabbis often give approval on different levels or standards – thus the many symbols kosher approved foods might display.
Kosher approval is good, but it may not be needed for every application. For example if you are making a lotion or cream, or using vegetable glycerin in your hair product, certification of Kosher may not be needed. If you make a candy and glycerin is an ingredient, and want to sell it in stores where Kosher foods will be sold, get the Kosher glycerin.
Other factors to consider
When choosing glycerin check the percentage level of the glycerin. It will typically range from 99.3% to 99.5% to 99.7%. The 99.7% glycerin is the most common in food and cosmetic grades.
Decide if you need vegetable derived glycerin, or if you can work with animal derived glycerin, a tallow based. If you decide on vegetable grade, what percentage will work for your application? If you need vegetable glycerin, will it have to be Kosher certified?
When comparing Glycerin and you read on a company website claiming the best glycerin is from Bio-diesel production, don’t be misled. The WORST quality Glycerin is byproduct Bio-diesel glycerin. Biodiesel production yields a very inferior quality glycerin. Although biodiesel production glycerin can be cleaned up, it will never equal the quality and purity of vegetable grade glycerin.
When searching for the best glycerin, check out the company, and how long that have been in the glycerin business. If they do not have good information listed on their website about the type of glycerin, the purity level, and the source of the glycerin, ask for it.
Here are two sources for high quality Vegetable Grade Glycerin: Both companies are owned by Chemistry Connection in Conway Arkansas. They have sold glycerin for over 20 years.