We talk about it with McFlavors, a liquid company expert in the use of propanediol
During our visit to the various producers present at Vapitaly 2019, we met again with pleasure the friends of the McFlavors company with whom we had shared an interesting chat during the 2016 edition of the Verona event. McFlavors is a very particular e-liquid producer in the e-cig market, because in the formulations of its mixtures it does not use propylene glycol, replacing it with propanediol. In front of such a surprising typicality we decided to investigate further.
1,3-propanediol is a diol, hence an alcohol, having the formula HO-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH. It appears as a transparent and viscous liquid, well miscible in water.
Before understanding and understanding how propanediol can substitute for propylene glycol, let’s summarize what is generally the composition of a liquid for electronic cigarette. Commercial e-liquids are generally composed of propylene glycol (PG) and glycerol in a percentage that varies approximately between 70 and 95%. The task of propylene glycol is to solubilize nicotine and aromas, while glycerol, thanks to its high hygroscopic properties, induces a significant increase in the density of exhaled vapor.
In addition to glycol and vegetable glycerol, the e-liquid formulations contain, the aromas (generally dissolved in the glycol), water used as a diluent (usually no more than 10% of the total composition) and possibly nicotine, with a maximum concentration of 20 mg / ml according to the provisions of the European legislation TPD.
After this brief excursus on the typical elements that make up an e-liquid, let’s focus now on the qualities of propanediol as a substitute for propylene glycol. We do this by talking about it with the company that has embraced the cause of propanediol. Alessandro Righetti, Owner of McFlavors, will guide us to discover his company and this “ingredient” of the vape unknown to most.
Hi Alessandro and thank you so much for your availability. The first question I ask you is to tell us a little about McFlavors’ story.
The company was founded in 2013 with its registered office in Malta, but all production is made in Italy: from the creation and production of e-liquids to packaging and canning. Currently our operational headquarters is in Croatia, where we ship our products throughout Europe.
Can you tell us about the McFlavors production and your current lines?
At the moment we produce 10 ready-to-use 10 ml liquids (3 tobacco and 7 aromatic) with different grades of nicotine (0, 4, 8 and 16 mg / ml); we also produce 10 natural flavors in the 10 ml format, natural bases in 90 ml bottles, both in 50/50 and 70/30 composition, and finally nicotine correctors also in 10 ml bottles.
We said it in the preamble to this meeting of ours: McFlavors is a company unique in the Italian (or global?) Panorama of liquid cigarette liquid production because it uses propanediol to replace propylene glycol. Has it always been this way since your origins? Why did you make this kind of choice?
Yes, McFlavors is the only company in the world to use propanediol (or zema 103) instead of propylene glycol, also thanks to our patent filed for this completely natural binder. The choice of propanediol is a choice of passion, studied and weighted from the beginning of our corporate adventure, although in production it has a fivefold cost compared to propylene glycol. As big lovers of vape, curiosity has led us to try to understand how to enter an already inflated market like Vaping using something innovative, natural and above all unique. After several months of studies we came to realize the first formulas precisely with the use of our completely natural “glycol”.
Let’s see if we understood correctly. Using propanediol in a liquid mixture for electronic cigarettes brings some advantages to the e-liquid itself. Let’s try to understand what they are.
The advantages of using propanediol are different. First of all, it allows people who are allergic to propylene glycol (about a third of the vapors according to our estimates) to be able to vape without problems, completely reducing those typical contraindications of classic electronic cigarette liquids such as nausea, dry mouth, headache head, throat in throat. Moreover, compared to propylene glycol, propanediol better conveys nicotine, allowing for example the ex-smoker who approaches the electronic cigarette to be able to take greater quantities of nicotine without the annoying hit in the throat that nicotine causes in proportion to its concentration.
Could having the patent for the use of propanediol in an e-liquid not be a double-edged sword? You are the only ones who create liquids with propanediol, but in so doing the diffusion of the same in the sector is limited. What do you think about it?
The use of propanediol is the prerogative of our products, but this does not mean that McFlavors is open to undertake commercial collaborations with any company that wants to use them. It should also be said, however, that until now no company has shown interest in this type of product. We can only hope, even for the sake of the vape, that someone will contact us sooner or later.
Alessandro, in your opinion at the moment what is the perception that McFlavors Italian vaper have?
Anyone who tastes our liquids is pleasantly impressed and appreciates the sense of naturalness that our products convey. One of the things that most fills us with pride, are the former svapatori who contact us to thank us because thanks to our products they are back to vaping, overcoming the allergies developed with propylene glycol based liquids. Having said that, however, it is also true that we are not entirely satisfied that McFlavors’ message has failed to get massive to the vapers people. We will strive to always better explain the advantages of using propanediol in electronic cigarette mixtures.
Do you let us know more about the backstage of creating your own liquid? Let’s talk about your production process, from the idea, to the tests, to the implementation phase.
McFlavors company designs, tests and produces all its liquids in Italy, we too proudly symbolize the Made in Italy vape.
Before launching our products on the market we conducted a long search, because our goal was to offer liquids that were different from those already on the market. So with propanediol we added a whole series of natural aromas, obtained by distillation or extraction from natural products. Also for aromas we obviously do not use propylene glycol. All this has made it possible to create aromatically persistent, but never invasive formulations, which can be vaped for a long time without ever losing the taste and above all without ever showing too pungent tastes.
Our fragrances are the result of a long phase of research and testing: from the choice of raw materials to technical experiments, to always find the right aromatic balance. Our ingredients are selected with care and dedication and without ever compromising. I cite for example the essential oil of star anise, that of country mint, or an extract of selected tobacco leaves, up to the pods of the vanilla seeds. Furthermore, our pure fragrances can easily be mixed with each other at will, allowing the mixture and the aromatic hue that is most preferred to be obtained. Among the most winning combinations there are liquorice tobacco, vanilla mint and correct coffee.
Do you have any news in the near future?
We are always looking for new ideas for our products and clearly we are preparing some news that we will probably present at the Milan fair in October.
The trade fairs are a moment of encounter between producers and distributors, but also end consumers. The Vapitaly 2019, to which you participated, for a producer is an important investment. At present we at The Flavourist note substantial organizational differences between the various operators. Differences that often influence the outcome of a trade fair event. Sometimes everything seems to turn into just one big party. What is your thought about it?
It is very important for us producers to be there to understand the different aspects of the market and its performance, to get to know new customers but also to consolidate old relationships. Speaking and gathering opinions from consumers is essential and from our point of view fairs are an important showcase for our product. Perhaps it is one of the few ways to advertise, given the regulations in force in Italy and in Europe.
Alessandro, thank you very much on behalf of the whole team of The Flavourist and our readers for your availability and for letting us discover something new about a sector always in turmoil and eager for news.