Glycerin or glycerol is a sweet, viscous substance used in many foods, cosmetics, medicines and lubricants. Generally, it is regarded as harmless to humans, and is used extensively to sweeten, thicken and preserve foods. Glycerin, and other refined sugars, have been linked to yeast infections. If you are prone to yeast infections, it is recommended to avoid products that contain glycerin or glycerol.
Many brands of ice cream use glycerin to add sweetness and create a creamy consistency.
Glycerin is often used to preserve and sweeten packaged and canned foods.
Foods advertised as low-carb often use glycerin to sweeten since it not technically a carbohydrate. A sugar-alcohol, glycerin still contains the same number of calories per gram as regular carbohydrates so do not be fooled by this.
Again, glycerin or glycerol is often used to sweeten confections, particularly soft candies such as fudge and nougat, where glycerin also helps create the required creamy texture.
Extracts and Flavorigs
Extracts and flavorings for home-cooking contain glycerin for its texture and sweetness.
Dried fruits, particularly those found in cereals, are often soaked in glycerol to prevent them from drying out, and to add sweetness.
Joe Faulkner-Edwards has been a freelancer for the BBC since 2008. He writes and researches innovative new factual entertainment formats and output-related material for BBC Online. Faulkner-Edwards is also a health and fitness expert. His health and lifestyle articles have been featured in "The Leeds Student" newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcasting from the University of Leeds.