NB: Since this publication, the R&D département of LFEL has been integrated into ingésciences.


Today, producers of e-liquids offer hundreds of flavors (apple, mint, tobacco, cola, etc). While many studies focus on propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin(1), only few flavors have been looked. The custard ones, “creamy” or “buttered” type, are the subject of very recent studies. The molecules of certain flavor can contain diacetyl which, in large quantities, may have some inhalation toxicity(2).
However other molecules may cause toxicity. It is necessary to identify the molecules present in the aromatic raw materials of e-liquids in order to accede to its toxicological impact. It is therefore necessary to control the chemical and in particular aromatic composition of e-liquids in order to be able to study their toxicity and their degradation products in emission to provide this information to both health authorities and consumers.
The present study shows the results of an analysis campaign of flavors and french e-liquids manufacture in terms of aromatic composition..

Materials & Methods

More than 500 french e-liquids with different flavors were analysed :

  • 350 e-liquids overs 10 brands were analysed for their aromatic composition as part of TPD compliance.
  • more than 150 e-liquids overs 6 brands were analysed for the research and quantification of diacetyl.

Moreover flavors from 10 different producers were also tested for diacetyl presence and quantification.
The determination of the aromatic composition of the e-liquids regarding to the molecules above 0,1% of its total mass was performed using a GC-MSFID system.
The determination of diacetyl is based on their derivatization with 1,2-diaminobenzène to form quinoxalin derivatives. Their determination was done by a GC-MS system using the ”single ion monitoring” mode. We focused on the 158 uma ion for the diacetyl derivative determination. Internal calibration was done using 2,3-heptanedione as internal standard.

This scientific study was presented at E-cig symposium in La Rochelle (France) the 1st ans 2nd december 2016.