What is glycerine used for?


Quick Answer

Glycerine can be used in foods to create a sweet taste, to keep moisture in within feed, as an ingredient in toothpaste, cosmetics, brake fluid or antifreeze, to create synthetics or to treat problems like glaucoma and cerebral edema. Glycerine is also known as glycerin or glycerol.

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Full Answer

Although glycerine is naturally occurring, it can also be created synthetically by using propene. It can also be used when creating biodiesel fuel by isolating the glycerine compound as the esters are converted from rapeseed oil to biodiesel. Glycerine was first discovered in 1880-1885. When the word is translated from its French and Greek origins it translates to "sweet wax."

Chemically, the glycerine is a part of oils and the fats in nature as well as alcohols. Since it binds with water, it is easy to add to food. When added to food, glycerine keeps crystals from forming in pastries.

When glycerine is used in medical drugs, it is most often available in solutions or sprays. It also must be prescribed by a doctor and cannot be given over-the-counter, despite glycerin's presence in food products and topical beauty products. In medical products in the United States, glycerine usually is referred to as "osmoglyn."

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