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Glycerines are sugar alcohols, which occur as a basic building block in all natural fats. The non-viscous, colorless and odorless liquid is the simplest trivalent alcohol, a so-called triol. Glycerine can be obtained either by hydrolysis, in which fats are separated into glycerine and fatty acids, or produced using the unsaturated hydrocarbon propylene.
In the food industry, glycerine (E422) is used as a sweetener and humectant in meat products, chewing gum, and chocolate. Glycerine is also used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
In cosmetics, due to its good water-binding ability, glycerine (INCI Glycerin) is used as a humectant and moisturizer. It is contained in many skin care products, e.g. emulsions and moisturizing solutions.
Other applications of glycerine (CAS 56-81-5) are adhesives, sealants, rubber, paints, household products, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, automotive, compounding, construction, electronics, woodworking, industrial cleaners, agriculture, leather, textiles and paper.