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Butyric Acid - Alternative to Diacetyl, Acetoin and Acetyl Proprionyl but Toxic by EPA?

Discussion in 'General E-Liquid Discussion' started by Jonathan Tittle, Jul 17, 2014.

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  1. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 7, 2013
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    As I normally do in the early mornings, I check in with various flavor vendors to see if there's anything new an exciting on the market for me to taste test and came across a new version of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from TFA, Vanilla Bean Gelato which is their version of VBIC without the Acetoin & Acetyl Proprionyl, though it does contain Butyric Acid which is, according to Wikipedia and their EPA sourcing, as toxic.

    TFA states that it's a replacement for D-A-AP which is used in trace amounts as it could otherwise give off an unpleasant odor, which is, according to the same info on Wikipedia, is present in, and is the main distinctive smell of, human vomit

    Just wondering if there are any chemistry experts happening by here that can detail more information as this is a chemical that I'm not overly familiar with and if it is indeed toxic, how toxic is it and in what amounts? I'm about to head out and I've not had the chance to look it up further just yet.

    My main concern here is that with all the requests to get rid of D-A-AP, this will become more common and if it is indeed toxic, it'd be nice to make sure others know about this so that it doesn't make its way into e-liquid.

    I'm not saying D-A-AP is any better, though if Butyric Acid is worse, that could be an issue.
  2. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2014
    Butyric Acid

    Butyric acid is found in milk, especially goat, sheep and buffalo milk, butter, Parmesan cheese, and as a product of anaerobic fermentation (including in the colon and as body odor). It has an unpleasant smell and acrid taste, with a sweetish aftertaste (similar to ether).

    Butyric acid is present in, and is the main distinctive smell of, human vomit.

    Due to its powerful odor, it has also been used as a fishing bait additive.

    The substance has also been used as a stink bomb by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to disrupt Japanese whaling crews, as well as by anti-abortion protesters to disrupt abortion clinics.

    Inhalation of butyric acid may result in soreness of throat, coughing, a burning sensation and labored breathing. Ingestion of the acid may result in abdominal pain, shock, and collapse.

    Sounds like just great stuff to add to your DIY juice ... not !
  3. classwife

    classwife Admin Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Moved to General E-Liquid Discussion for OP :)

    edit to add...not for anything I would vape !!
  4. kabalm18

    kabalm18 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 28, 2014
  5. kriga

    kriga Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Hmm... hoping this isn't the replacement in Capella's V2 stuff.
  6. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 7, 2013
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Thanks :)

    Officially, Tom said he's not sure if that's what they're using or not (I e-mailed him and asked). Unofficially, from what I've heard, it is which comes from a credible source who received the information from a vendor that tested it, but I don't want to put them on the spot and potentially create bad blood or a vendor war / see bickering as a result. I'll keep it at that.

    That said, I just got off the phone with Linda from TFA/TPA and she said that the percentage amount in the new Vanilla Bean Gelato that they have is 2% or less, so it's not a huge amount and while there is a downside in terms of potential odor/taste with larger amounts, there's actually an upside to the use of the chemical in general.

    Based on a study she's studying and plans to see through, Butyric Acid inhibits the absorption of Diacetyl if Diacetyl is present. So if a flavoring has both Diacetyl and Butyric Acid in it, the BA will prevent the Diacetyl from being absorbed during inhalation (she specifically noted inhalation on the phone). Now, that doesn't mean that it makes it any safer in terms of inhalation as we don't really know what BA will do, as it's still a custard note, but based on that study, if BA and D are present, then we'd only be "absorbing" one, not both.

    I then asked her opinion on safety, and she said it's most likely no worse than Acetyl Proprionyl, so you would have to gauge how comfortable you are with AP and sort of base it off that. She said that the toxicity most likely is referring to it's pure form, in which case, it would apply to many chemicals, not just this one.
  7. Zanaspus

    Zanaspus Super Member

    Jun 26, 2014
    Columbus OH USA
    Having smelled butyric acid, I think I'd prefer bronchitis obliterans....just sayin.
  8. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2014
    Just what I want in an E-juice flavoring ... Something that smells like vomit, body odor, fish bait additive and stink bomb!

    Jonathan ... Your not really serious about this crap, are you? ... Jeeeze, I hope you don't start selling your own "boutique" juice!
  9. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 7, 2013
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    I think you're taking what I said in my above reply out of let me rephrase.

    This is a "new" chemical, to me. I wasn't familiar with it before starting this thread though after I posted, a member (presumably here on ECF), while speaking with Linda from TPA / TFA, said she might want to get in touch with me to discuss it since I was curious and had questions about it.

    What I read was that it smells, tasted bad ect ect - never did I state that I, myself, use flavors with it (knowingly) - it's not a chemical that vendors, other than TPA, knowingly list, though then again, for some, neither is Diacetyl, Acetoin or Acetyl Proprionyl. So you could very well be vaping it and not know any better, just as I could and just as others could be as well. We don't know every single last chemical that goes into flavoring and most likely wont because much of that information is a trade secret that would otherwise out a company to another should it be made public.

    Linda was gracious enough to list said chemical in one of their new flavor releases, Vanilla Bean Gelato, which prompted me to post this thread and ask for input from others. That is the basis of this thread, to gather input.

    Beyond that, I asked Tom, the Owner of Capella, if that chemical is what they are using in the new v2 series of flavor releases, he said that he was unsure though another sources tells me they are which was found by testing (GC/MS). I further stated I'd rather not say who told me this as I don't want to create bad blood between vendors, rather, I'd just let it be.

    As fore the ending comment, I was simply reporting back on what Linda told me during our phone call, i.e. that if Butyric Acid is present, the uptake of Diacetyl is hindered. So if this chemical is present w/ Diacetyl and it is inhaled, then the Diacetyl would not be absorbed. She told me about the study, she's following up with it to see if it holds merit and she's also working on re-writing her information sheet on the three chemicals (i.e. D-A-AP).

    Again, this thread wasn't meant to be an "oh look, I found this and will be using it in place of X" or "this is what we should be using instead" type thread. I specifically asked if others knew more information than what was posted on Wikipedia, or perhaps if someone knows more than Linda, even though she is a wealth of knowledge just from our call.

    If you didn't mean that in a rather sarcastic way, I apologize, though that is how it came off.

    As far as being serious about it....I am seriously interested in finding out more about it. Does that mean I'm promoting it? No. Does that mean I think it's safe? No. I'm simply looking for more information as I spotted it and had questions about it. Isn't that how things with Diacetyl, Acetoin and Acetyl Proprionyl started? People began asking questions? That's the only way we're going to learn about what's in what we vape and no one else has mentioned it yet (that I could see), so I thought I'd go ahead and get things moving.
  10. Kropotkin

    Kropotkin Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 13, 2012
    I can just see the description:

    "A creamy, complex vanilla with rich, custardy puke notes and a hint of rotting chum on the exhale."


    Sure to be a winner.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2014
    Johathan ... Okie Dokie.

    It was not my intention to run you down on this, and I apologize if it came out that way ... I am sorry for that.

    Just seemed strange that anyone would be interested in a chemical with the smell of Butyric Acid, if what I read on Wikipedia is correct.
  12. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 7, 2013
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    No harm done :). Just looking for information here as I imagine we all are. The more we know, the better. Seeing this pop up on TFA's website was the first time I've seen it, so Wikipedia was the first source I turned to so I could find out more. Then Linda called me and provided me with a better understanding.

    I am going to be sampling a flavor that contains it, possibly two if it's true that Capella v2 Vanilla Custard uses it in place of D-A-AP (I've yet to try it). I'm just curious to see if there is a major reason to stay away from it versus the main chemicals used for the same/similar flavoring.

    From speaking with Linda, it's naturally occurring in butter, so I'm a bit curious as to how bad it really is in such low percentages (i.e. 2%) considering butter doesn't come off as smelling like puke/vomit or anything nasty (unless you include the artificial stuff). It may be horrible, it may not be. Feedback on the v2 Vanilla Custard has been mixed from what I can tell. Some love it, some say it has a plastic-like taste. I have a sensitive palate, so if it really does, I'm sure I'll pick up on it.
  13. williebb123

    williebb123 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    keep up the good work jonathan there are a lot of additives in our daily lives that we eat or drink whether intentional or natural but like most things when consumed in pure form or by gluttony becomes poisonous , keep digging the facts
  14. crxess

    crxess Grumpy Ole Man Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    Williamsport Md
    God, I am so glad I am on the down hill side of to old to care.

    I do see the concerns as published - though many(most) say May this and might that.

    I also see the total concentration of exposure would equate to less than the exposure of one mixer working one full shift in near contact conditions.

    I am NOT saying it is not a danger. Simply that I have been exposed on many occasions to much higher risk gasses in way higher concentrations in my life time and I'm still kicking.:D
  15. vangrl27

    vangrl27 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    the weirdest part of all this to me is that Tom went out of his way to create a version #2 of his famous vanilla custard, presumably because of health concerns, yet he doesn't know the ingredients of his new version:unsure:
  16. Auxx

    Auxx Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 20, 2014
    Zvejniekciems, Latvia
    Why do you bother about the smell? A lot of chemicals used in aromas smell nasty, a lot of chemicals in our food smell nasty, but do people boycott parmesan because of some drops of vomit in it?
  17. MotherNatural

    MotherNatural Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Very interesting. I believe it's possible that naturally occurring diacetyl may not have the same inhalation risk as synthetic and this would explain why. Our bodies react differently to isolated compounds.
  18. kriga

    kriga Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    This part struck me as odd. Substituting the AP in VBIC with another chemical that is "most likely no worse than" AP? That doesn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies about it.
  19. Jonathan Tittle

    Jonathan Tittle Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 7, 2013
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Given we're not 100% sure how bad any of the chemicals are when it comes to vaping, since we don't have studies to prove otherwise, it's hard to say either way. It could be on the same level, "better" (in comparison, but not 100% safe obviously) or worse. It's hard to say without scientific data to say that yes, we will get B.O. from vaping X, Y or Z or, if not B.O, we'll get "this" or "that" will happen.

    I think the biggest reason some are testing the waters with the chemical is that there's a growing concern over just what the "Big 3" can do, or might do long-term. We know of the potentials, given the issues with factory workers and Diacetyl, and the one incident with the guy eating popcorn for X amount of time, though beyond testing for how much is in our e-liquid, we're not yet seeing results on how much of it is actually vaporized & absorbed in to our body/blood/whatever when we inhale.

    From what I've seen, anything that gives that buttery flavor that many enjoy, including benzyl alcohol (which is an aromatic), has some degree of toxicity and can be a lung and throat/nose irritant.

    I see options as a good thing, though ultimately it's up to us to gauge what we feel is best for us overall. For some, this provides that extra option. It may not be the near 100% safe option we'd like, but it may be a safer option, though to what degree, I'm unsure (I'm not a chemist).

    Hopefully we'll see some more data on it, or someone will find a link to some more information that I've simply not yet found :).
  20. Stosh

    Stosh Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Oct 2, 2010
    The diacetyl we inhaled from cigarettes at far higher concentrations would fall into which camp? Is it a name brand or generic form of a defined chemical compound?

    The studies so far have not been able to explain how smokers that inhale for decades much higher levels of diacetyl than the popcorn workers are not dropping dead of B.O.

    The latest study has found for eliquid...

    Evaluation of electronic cigarette liquids and vapour for the presence of selected inhalation toxins

    Personally I enjoy spicy food, habenaros are a favorite....yet they contain the same chemical used in tear gas to quell riots. Nicotine will kill you if you smell it in its pure form, as will a large number of chemicals.
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