Propylene Glycol is found in antifreeze, paint, brake fluid, and your favorite ice cream.

propylene glycol

The  FDA claims this toxic chemical is safe for our food supply.  Learn more.

 Check the ingredient list of your cake or any baking mix, prepared frosting, icing, baked goods from supermarkets, biscuits, croissants, cakes, sweets, beer, beverages, salad dressings, and water flavor enhancers plus so many more.  If you see the words PROPYLENE GLYCOL, you may want to reconsider.


Why is this a problem?

Directly From Dow Chemical:

Propylene Glycol is used in:

Foods and flavors

Pet food and animal feed

Fragrance, cosmetics, personal care

Paint and Coatings

Polyester Resins


Aircraft deicing fluid

Coolants and Antifreeze

Brake and Hydraulic fluid

Yes, propylene glycol is found in your cake and is a component of antifreeze.  It de-ices airplanes and is in your salad dressing.  It is part of paint and polyester resins as well as in your Mio flavored water enhancer.  It is in brake fluid and in Costco cookies.

Yikes….so why did the FDA approve propylene glycol to be part of the safe for human consumption ruling that lets this chemical be a part of so many of our foods and beverages?

 Directly from the Daily Meal:

 Propylene glycol is an organic chemical compound nobody talked much about until recently, when Fireball Cinnamon Whisky was pulled off the shelves in three Scandinavian countries for containing too much of the ingredient to meet European Union standards. The chemical is used as a solvent and as the primary ingredient in non-toxic antifreeze and as the “e-liquid” in e-cigarettes. Propylene glycol is considered safe by the FDA in small quantities, although it can be toxic in large doses. And it’s more common than you think. It’s widely used in food and drink products as a thickener and preservative, or to add a little bit of sweetness.

 Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has assured us that it would be virtually impossible to ingest toxic amounts of the compound through consumer products, in large doses, propylene glycol poisoning might cause skin irritation or itchiness and redness, and acute levels of exposure might could cause cardiovascular or neurotoxilogical issues.

Toxic or not, we thought you might like to know whether this solvent and antifreeze is hiding in products you eat and drink. The Daily Meal dug up seven of the most common foods and beverages that contain propylene glycol.

Flavored Iced Teas

The world may run on Dunkin’, but Dunkin’ Donuts flavored iced tea runs on propylene glycol. Here, the ingredient is likely used to bump up sweetness. The good news is that the regular variety of iced tea at Dunkin’ has zero prop-gly in it. Nestea “flavored liquid water enhancers” also have propylene glycol, but Lipton’s do not.

Ice Cream

Most vanilla varieties don’t include propylene glycol. But if you want to be sure not to ingest any propylene glycol, avoid Blue Bunny cones of any flavor or Edy’s peppermint ice cream. Cold Stone Creamery serves 17 different ice cream varieties in all locations that include prop-gly.



Propylene glycol USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade) is the only grade appropriate for application in food due to its handling practices.

Propylene glycol USP/EP is the ideal carrier of a large variety of flavours that give most of today’s food and beverage their distinctive taste. The substance itself is colour-, taste- and odourless, and it does not react on its own, which means that it can perform its function without impacting on other product attributes.

This product has been confirmed safe, and provides unique inherent properties with regard to holding/attracting both water- and oil-based substances. In food, it is used to retain food colour pigments and provide for homogeneous distribution within the mixture. Direct food contact uses include:

solvent and carrier for flavour and colour in food and beverage manufacturing processes, for drinks, biscuits, cakes, sweets

thickenerclarifierand stabilizer in food and beverage such as beer, salad dressings or baking mixtures

So, now that you know the truth about Propylene Glycol….please check the ingredient list on prepared food products and choose to lose this chemical.


About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. and The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition. Owner, developer, and administrator of The Metabolism Miracle's support site: Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Email:
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