What are Concentrated Flavours?
(Updated June 2020- from original post April 2015)
Concentrated flavours have long played a role in our everyday food supply, and these same flavour types are being utilised for the production of commercial e-liquids, as well our DIY. Certain companies such as Purilum and Flavorah develop flavours specifically for the vaping market, although these too are created by flavorists or flavour chemists.
The majority of the flavours we use for DIY, whilst the same as food grade, are water-based artificial concentrated flavours. Pure extracts and oils are not safe to vape, even though many flavours contain traces of extracts or natural oils. Never use flavours from supermarkets or food supply companies.
If you’re not certain as to the type of flavours you should use, stick to one of the major manufacturers-brands I’ve listed below.
Concentrated flavours have traditionally been mixed in a Propylene Glycol (PG) base as it’s a great flavour carrier. However, VG or Vegetable Glycerine is at times utilised by a few manufacturers . Many of the ingredients used in the production of flavours are FDA approved and certified as GRAS – Generally regarded as safe. However, this does not cover inhalation. It pertains to the use as food ingredients only.
Flavours contain hundreds of ingredients, many even a few thousand – Naturally extracted compounds and oils, water, sweetening agents, additives, alcohols and far more secrets than the Colonels 11 herbs and spices. A few examples of the chemical components are – aldehydes, ethers, esters, hydrocarbons (terpenes, sesquiterpenes, etc.), ketones, lactones, phenols, and phenol ethers.
Many consumers have concerns regarding the ingredients of artificial flavours. Their concerns surround the use of chemicals, but it’s important to understand that everything in nature, even fresh fruit and produce, is made up of various compounds and chemicals.
Additional Information on Flavours
Selecting Flavour Brands
There are literally hundreds of flavour manufacturers, although much of the international vaping industry, including DIYers, seem to have settled on somewhere close to two dozen. Australian vendors have followed suit, selling flavours from well-known manufacturers including –
Capella, FlavourArt, Flavor West, Inawera, Flavorah, Jungle Flavors, Purilum, Moliberry, Real Flavors, Hangsen and TPA-TFA (The Flavor Apprentice). These flavouring companies are among the most commonly used by those who DIY. Two domestic vendors that offer their own branded flavours are Juice Factory and Vape Train, both of these offer many outstanding flavours.
The above companies produce some of the most realistic quality flavours on the market. The ones I probably use most are – Flavour Art, Flavorah, TFA, Capella and Juice Factory. I also love Medicine Flower, but the cost is extremely high compared to the others.
No brand offers the best of everything. A given flavour from one company may be deemed as being more realistic, richer or even higher in concentration than that of another brand, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. Flavours that are not overly realistic, or ones that even miss the mark completely, can at times be useful. Let us not forget that taste is always subjective too.
Our Flavour Category Section
An in-depth look at various flavours such as dairy, bakery, fruits, tobaccos and beverage. We cover flavour profiles, uses, pairing ideas, tips, resources and more.