What is Diacetyl?

diacetile struttura

We noticed an interest to use our flavours in electronic smoking or vaping and some customers rised question about the presence in some formulations of a compound known as Diacetyl.

First, we would like to clarify what diacetyl is. The following info are sourced from IFIC, International Food Information Council.

What is diacetyl and where is it found?

Diacetyl and related compounds produce the buttery odor and flavor of many foods. It occurs as a natural byproduct of fermentation and is found in several dairy products like butter, cheese and milk as well as in bread, coffee, brandy, and rum. It also is manufactured as a component of artificial butter flavoring that is used in butter-flavored microwave popcorn, candy, baked goods and cake mixes. Are there other flavors like diacetyl? Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines replacement flavors or flavoring agents as “substances added to impart or help impart a taste or aroma in food.”

There are also flavor enhancers, which are “substances added to supplement, enhance, or modify the original taste and/or aroma of a food, without imparting a characteristic taste or aroma of its own.” Flavors and flavor enhances are considered part of the larger group of food additives which the FDA regulates. This includes determining their safe use in food. Are there any significant health risks in consuming foods containing diacetyl? No. The FDA currently classifies diacetyl as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) for consumption.

What about potential health effects of inhaling diacetyl vapors? Concerns about inhalation of diacetyl vapors stem from worker safety issues, not from the general public consuming or smelling foods flavored with diacetyl in the home. Interest in the possible inhalation effects of diacetyl first arose when workers in a microwave popcorn production facility developed breathing problems in the late 1990’s. Since that time, experience with people working in factories around diacetyl and research in animals has suggested that frequent and repeated breathing of high concentrations of diacetyl in the air may be associated with an extremely rare lung condition known as bronchiolitis obliterans.

This condition can cause scarring of the small airways in the lung, which can result in less air exchange in the airways and over time, airway blockage. As with most medical issues, an individual’s medical history and ongoing medical conditions may influence their response to diacetyl, so some individuals may be more sensitive than others to the inhalation effects of diacetyl. In April 2007, the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) launched a program to address hazards and control measures associated with factories where butter-flavored microwave popcorn is produced.

The FDA continues to seek additional information to help further clarify any health effects from diacetyl. Is the industry doing anything about the potential health effects to workers? Yes. Because of the potential health risks from repeated exposure, the industry has implemented changes to reduce workplace exposure to diacetyl, including implementing engineering controls such as closed mixing tanks, separate mixing rooms for butter flavors, requiring respirators for mixing room operators, and improving air circulation in facilities.

We realize that for E smokers, our food flavors are used in a different way as they are not ingested but inhaled, and the presence of diacetyl can be a cause of concern.

For this reason we have carried out massive removal of diacetyl from our flavor collection since November 2010 and product still containing it are clearly identified.

Disclaimer: We produce and sell FOOD FLAVORS which comply with Italian and EU legislation and EFSA reccomendation. They are safe for FOOD use as they are intended to enter the body by the digestive system, not by lungs.

Digestion involves acid breakdown, enzyme attack, and kidney and liver processing. Vapor by the lungs goes directly in the blood stream. Even though due to absence of combustion, vaping can be compared to odor smelling in open air, consumption of food flavors by vaping has not been specifically tested for safety. Flavourart srl can not be held responsible for any claim or damage arising by the use of food flavor by the means of electronic devices as E-vapers, E cigarettes and similar.


  • Datorita tigarilor electronice am scapat de mirosul neplacut al tutunului.

  • Datorita gamei foarte largi de arome pot savura mai mult decat clasica tigara cu gust de tutun, de exemplu aroma de tutun - RY4 flavor.

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