What is Monopropylene Glycol (MPG)? Uses and chemical properties


Monopropylene Glycol is a colourless substance, with no apparent taste or odour, produced from propylene oxide. Its chemical formula is C3H8O2. This is why its chemical form of polyhydric alcohol is widely used in industry.

Unbelievably, this chemical is found in a lot of the food you eat every day, and even forms part of antifreeze for cars. Its versatility is fascinating, so read on to find out what the chemical properties and other uses of Monopropylene Glycol are.

Chemical properties of Monopropylene Glycol (MPG)

Its main property is its oily and colourless consistency. It’s an essential product for the preservation of some foods in the production industry. Let’s take a look at some of its key properties:

  • It’s a very hygroscopic material, which indicates its ability to retain or be attracted to water. This property keeps products hydrated or, failing that, can rehydrate them.
  • Unlike other alcoholic substances, Monopropylene Glycol is not volatile.
  • Although it is not considered flammable, it’s a product that can cause explosions when in contact with fire.

Frequent uses of Monopropylene Glycol (MPG)

The intention of producing Monopropylene Glycol on an industrial level is to preserve processed foods. It’s used to humidify food mixtures, so it stops them from drying out. On a commercial level, the structure of the product needs to be kept in a good condition, so Monopropylene Glycol (MPG) acts as the main preservative.

It’s also used to crystallise some products, such as chocolates, ice cream and margarine. These are important and economically profitable products in the food industry. Other foods that contain this preservative are coffee, salad dressings, maize-based products, and toppings used in baking.

Regarding health risks, hardly any serious consequences have ever been reported when high concentrations of Monopropylene Glycol are ingested. It’s a very useful substance that successfully adapts to every purpose of the industry.