Published on July 26th, 2016 | by Rob


4 Ways to Tell You’ve Got a Quality E-Liquid

Portrait of young male scientist studying chemical liquid in the modern laboratoryMost hardcore vapers aren’t just looking for anything with the word “e-liquid” on the bottle, we’re looking for taste, variety, and quality.

While there’s arguably no shortage of tasty flavors available out there, it seems that last element — quality — is the one that’s most often neglected by e-juice makers.

It’s a long-established cliché for companies of all kinds to claim they offer “quality” products, but what’s not so common is those companies being specific about what that actually means.

A vague marketing term doesn’t really tell you much of anything.

So let’s examine some of the specific elements that will help you determine a quality e-liquid.

1) It Is Diacetyl- and Acetyl Propionyl-Free

There’s been a lot of concern about vaping being connected with so-called “popcorn lung” (aka “bronchiolitis obliterans”) and other respiratory issues.

These have been closely linked with the inhalation of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl (aka “2,3-pentanedione”), which are compounds that are used in some e-juices, as well as in paint, ink, dyes, and pesticides.

These compounds occur naturally in dairy products and can be ingested safely. It’s only when they’re inhaled that they have the potential to pose health risks.

Gourmet, menthol, and tobacco flavor e-liquids by Halo were among the first in the industry to be diacetyl- and acetyl propionyl-free.

For that brand, quality seems to translate not only to manufacturing e-liquids that can be enjoyed by vapers, but also to ensuring that those vapers can feel confident using them.

The company tests all of its flavors through an independent lab to ensure they are free of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl.

Though the process can take longer than a year, they don’t make a new flavor available to the public until the testing is complete.

They then post not only the results but the actual test result sheets directly from the lab on their website.

It’s good to know that some players in the vaping industry are making safety and health such a high priority for their customers.

2) It Has Trustworthy Ingredients

Testing for diacetyl and acetyl propionyl is the final step in an e-liquid creation process which ideally puts emphasis on quality from the beginning.

Companies committed to quality will source all of their ingredients from reputable U.S.-based suppliers.

This is because it’s virtually impossible to verify the quality of ingredients from overseas suppliers, which may have few to zero manufacturing guidelines set or enforced by authorities within their own countries.

Quality starts at the beginning of the supply chain and follows all the way through to the vaping experience itself.

Quality e-juice ingredients are put through extensive, sophisticated testing and manufactured to or above minimum standards that are endorsed by a variety of trusted, industry-leading organizations.

Quality e-liquids are made using food flavorings that have been approved for consumption by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA/GRAS).

All the ingredients used — nicotine, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin — should be United States Pharmacopeia (USP)-grade products. 

A quality nicotine base is one that has been acknowledged as meeting Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs).

The nicotine concentration can be verified by sophisticated testing, including High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR).

Those are a mouthful to say and not quickly explained, but I encourage you to google them for yourself.

3) It Was Made by Highly Trained Professionals in a Modern Facility

Quality flavors are blended by professional chemists in a state-of-the-art, ISO-rated clean room environment within a modern production facility.

Often, these professionals are monitored and recorded using closed-circuit audio-visual equipment, further safeguarding the integrity of their product.

To ensure each e-liquid is allowed to reach its peak flavor, it is kept in a climate-controlled warehouse where flavorists put it through a steeping process that allows the ingredients to mix and mature.

4) It Screams “Quality” on the Outside

Other features of the e-liquid packaging itself enhance the integrity of the product and strongly suggest a commitment to quality from the manufacturer — regardless of whether that word actually appears on the packaging.

Halo, the brand mentioned above, was among the first in the industry to include child-safety caps, best-by dates, and trackable lot numbers on its e-liquid bottles.

The company took a proactive approach to self-regulation rather than wait for the government to act.

It’s Best to Do Your Own Research

Look into what ingredients and processes e-juice makers are using so you can determine their quality for yourself.

Keep in mind that, when it comes to ingredients, the most important piece of information to find out may be which ones they are not using, i.e., diacetyl and acetyl propionyl.

Whatever the case, you’re likely to find that the list of e-liquid companies consistently and extensively linked with quality ingredients and processes is a very short one.

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