Introduction to Glycerin
Glycerin, also known as glycerol or glycerine, is a thick liquid with colorless and neuter formula. Glycerin presents a sweet taste and a high boiling point, features which have prompted the susstance on top of the highly used ingredients in food industry. When freezing, the colorless liquid turns into a gummy paste. A good solvent, the glycerol can be mixed with water and alcohol. However, oils are not solvable in glycerin.
Present in many of the products available in any local shop, glycerin has varied uses in numerous branches of the industry, starting with food processing and preservation and ending with explosive fabrication.
Uses in Food Industry
Due to its sweet taste, glycerin is largely used in food industry as a sweetener in low carb desserts, like cakes, biscuits, filling chocolate, creams and other similar products. It is also a good humectant, retaining moisture inside the products. This feature combined with its high boiling point recommends glycerin as a perfect preservative for a large number of alimentary products, including energy drinks.
Health Employment of Glycerin
Several health benefits are associated with glycerin use. In tablets, glycerine is used as a tablet holder. Skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis, rashes, burns, cuts, calluses, bites and skin dryness are treated by applying glycerin-based products on the affected areas. Glycerin soaps are also employed for addressing mild to moderate skin problems, including yeast infection and fungal infections.
Cough syrups and remedies are also produced with this product. Taken orally, the substance is also reported to have effects in weight loss diets, preventing body dehydration during physical effort, diarrhea or vomiting and improving physical performance. Intravenous, the substance is used for reducing blood pressure inside the brain in order to alleviate different medical conditions.
Another popular health use is glycerin suppositories, a type of medicine created to address acute constipation in infants, children and adults.
Dental hygiene can be improved too. Therefore, the substance is present in toothpastes and mouthwashes. It has a fast anti-bacterial effect, by easily penetrating the biofilm and killing bacteria colonies. Anti-periodontal products are also rich in glycerine.
Glycerol is also used as a substitute of alcohol in herbal tinctures. Its solvent properties enable people with alcohol sensibility to enjoy the benefits of herbal products without the negative effects of alcohol.
Glycerin was first used in soap-making, being extremely appreciated for its emollient properties. Nowadays, the range of products containing glycerol has enlarged considerably. Face creams and skin care products, shaving creams, shampoos and hair care products, intimate water-based lubricants and of course, soaps have glycerine as one of their main ingredients.
A by-product of biodiesel, glycerin (aka glycerol or glycerine) has also made its triumphant entry in the weapon industry. Used to produce nitroglycerin, which is later transformed in dynamite, glycerin plays an important role in explosive production. Other uses include the production of air-dying clay, textile softening and lubricant production. Due to its low freezing point, glycerol is also used as anti-freezer in chemical and biologic laboratories and mixed with water to prevent damages to the organisms stored in freezing conditions.
Glycerin is so popular these days, that many companies named one of their products Glycerin; just like Brooks who named a high end model of their running shoes after this natural product (their up to the 10th edition now: Glycerin 10).
More information from Wikipedia.