Anyone use Triethyl Citrate as a VG base additive?

This dovetails with the ongoing thread about homogenization which branched off into discussion of additives and emulsifiers used to disperse and infuse flavorings in VG. When I ran across the following I was searching for information which would further confirm my statements/beliefs about VG being a poor solvent and flavor carrier.
Most of the following is taken from threads found @
Deeper DIY: Triethyl Citrate – the new e-liquid emulsifier?

Triethyl Citrate (TEC) is a chemical in Dragonfruit and claimed to make fruits “pop.” It is an emulsifier and claimed to facilitate this. It is used in combination with Triacetin (TRI) by TFA in the following flavors; highest in Strawberry @ 10%:

Chai Tea
Dulce de Leche

It is sold by TPA and is pretty cheap. It is claimed to be useful as a flavorless diluent which can be used in place of water, PG, and Ethyl Alcohol in VG. It should not be used with or stored in plastic.

I found other related threads.

The evils of VG as a carrier

OP: “So lengthy testing over the past 3 weeks has made me realize why so few people [are] offering flavors in VG: it just is a poor carrier. At room temperature, I am lucky to dissolve 1% of a chem that easily dissolves at 10% in PG or 15+% in EA.”

[–]NudeNicotine “VG is an extremely crappy solvent :frowning: that is why you see us utilizing a portion of ethyl alcohol in our co-solvent ratio for concentrated flavorings and stock solutions. Depends on the polarity of the stock solution in question, but I have only been able to achieve 5 to 6 % max of some solutions in VG.”

Throughout these old threads the usage of homogenizers is mentioned. From other reading, most or all of them are now using them. However, for the PG sensitive mixer, these chemicals could be very helpful. There was a lot of interest, and then the subject kind of died.
Anyone using TEC and TRI (magic mask by fa, and is a main ingredient of mts vape
wizard by fa, smooth by tpa, and flavor toner/enhancer by fw) and would like to share info, it would be appreciated.

I did find this repetitive claim several places:
Triethyl Citrate- Sold by tpa. This is an emulsifier used to make essential
oils water soluable. It is used by fa, tpa, inw, fw, cap, hs, and just about every
flavor company everywhere. It is used in most popular flavors. This is the “secret
ingredient” that turns oil soluables into water soluables, if you know how to use
it. think of it as “the flavorer’s stone”, sought after to turn crap flavors into


You know… An interesting test that I could actually perform is to try a touch of Dragonfruit (unfortunately I only have Ina IIRC) with some of the MF in a “SF test” (since I know that MF butterscotch basically requires a month regardless.

(Besides which, it’ll be good to do a side by side of the USC with MF again. Been a long time since I last used heat and MF BS. Would be nice to see if anything has changed due to the age of the flavor, which are rough guess a year plus old at this point)


Well crap. I was going to try and find the spec sheet for Ina Dragonfruit… And I was going to use @woftam’s lovely post/idea as a springboard to get there.

Unfortunately however, NR doesn’t carry Ina Dragonfruit (just my luck of course). So much for that idea.


IIRC I read where INW also has Triethyl Citrate. I tried dragon fruit as a flavor enhancer but don’t like the flavor. Maybe used too much. But here’s my take on the whole thing as said to a friend recently:

VG is a lousy solvent. Using mechanical energy to disperse the flavors be it stirring, ultrasonic, or homogenizing can eliminate all or most of the time factor. Heat energy is just another form of facilitating the dispersal.

Here’s a good one I found on /r/Deeper_DIY “Everyone Knows”

" Everyone knows that excessive heat on our flavors is not good. I’ve heard don’t go above 90 degree F… I’m curious to know what the best temperature would be.

Answer: 140f, in a closed container.

Is that the cut off temp for all flavors would you say?

It’s what I use. I find evaporation to be the flavor killer.

Ah okay thanks for the advice. :wink:

I’m going to order some TEC direct from TPA and see. I think separation in VG is a problem just like dispersal and if a small quantity can act as a binder, (emulsifier) then it just makes sense.

I think the comments by nude nicotine about not being able to dissolve to any more than 5 or 6% in VG without using EA speaks volumes about this.

I thought the only problem with MF was the alcohol base, but now I’m not sure of that. It will be interesting to hear your results. I’ll be happy to mail you some TEC when I get it, but may be little while.


From what I’ve read, there is no carrier with the majority of MF (only a select few require/added alcohol). From what my taste buds tell me (finger test) I think it holds true AFA butterscotch goes (no alcohol).


here ya go mate the Triethyl Citrate isn’t listed but that is not to say it isn’t there just that there are no hazard indicators on that substance or it is a very small %


The only one I have is lemon which I think is great. I vape it next day. I can’t see any reason why a combo of heat and usc wouldn’t give the same results. But I of course don’t know that. I don’t know where I got that they were all alcohol based.

The one thing that makes me hesitant about MF is PV’s claim that MF is hostile towards vaping. Don’t know if this comes from ignorance or if their chemists know something they aren’t telling. Of course there is the government bullshit that has to be a factor. In any case, if someone doesn’t want to sell me a perfectly legal product, It doesn’t set well with me.

I also think it interesting that Walt formed a new company to supply vape products and very interesting that the flavors are now PG based.

Look forward to seeing your tests.

Edit. MF Lemon is alcohol based. It would be interesting to test lemon and butterscotch to determine whether Ethyl Alcohol makes a difference in mixing.


@Guitarded I know this topic is old but I am also interested in triethyl citrate. Have you test this already? If yes, in what percent? I hope you don’t mine me asking.

I don’t have it on hand yet but I really want to test this. Currently I am playing with 10% citric acid while waiting for triethyl citrate to arrive.

Thanks in advance.


Triethyl citrate and citric acid will no do the same thing (JIC you were not aware) as Dan mentioned in the first post the following TPA contain TC
Chai Tea
Dulce de Leche

Use any of those in your mix down low and you will get the effect of TC on your mix.


I absolutely do not mind and am always happy to help in any way I can. I think many here would agree that these discussions about mixing and the use of high sheer mixers aka homogenizers were lively and informative for all including me. Always feel free to ask any of us anything. The collective knowledge among us here is in my opinion second to none.

I did not test this separately. I kept trying to make a list of TPA flavors that would make it worth my while ordering directly from them because my ordinary supplier didn’t have it. Also, I do not use many of their flavorings.

I think @woftam is correct that you can get the effect from using any on the list but I would still like to experiment with it on its own. If you do please let us know your results. :+1:


I’m glad this thread was brought back up. Always love the sciencey side of this whole vaping thing.

Triethyl citrate, though, needs a better name if we’re going to convince the general masses to use it. Far too chemically-named and that can be scary. TC is clearly in the lexicon as Temperature Control so that’s out. So I’m open to suggestions.

3EC is a little too cryptic


Not even worth trying IMO.
Those who care/are interested will look into it further.

Just having the topic for such things is about as far of a “reach” as you’re going to get.

I wish that the number of folks interested in the science of it all was much higher than it is, but…

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Sorry… Got distracted by the “Squirrel!” running through the rest of your post…

Couldn’t agree more!! :thumbsup:


I agree but with caveats. To emulsify means to combine 2 immiscible substances like oil and water e.g. things that do not become homogeneous or will quickly separate when attempts are made. So the emulsifying reagent facilitates the bonding of the immiscible substances but most often this requires high shear mixing to achieve a homogeneous state.

VG is a terrible solvent and with many this is the primary reason for using an alcohol carrier to disperse the flavoring. In other conversations we’ve touched on varying degrees of miscibility; those that you can vape on the “shake” and a few claimed to take a month or more.

I’m not a chemist but have become increasingly reluctant to use extracts and prefer flavorings artificiality constructed from the molecule up. Indeed Dr Farsallinos has recommended this for years. I can say with some certainty that extracts are oils that take a professional chemist to be safely made into water soluble vaping products. If you recall I was highly pissed when we found a very high alcohol content in some products we both detest. However, alcohol is water soluble. That was a safety issue due to flashpoint and also ethics issues.

While I highly recommend them, I’ve kind of gone silent on the use of high shear devices for ejuice making. I can say with 100% certainty that the way that vitamin e oil is being combined with THC is with high shear homogenizing equipment. Ditto for CBD products. I would hate to be the one who showed some nitwit how to combine chemicals that have caused so much misery for so many.

So, unfortunately a little knowledge can be worse than none at all. I’ll stick to using off the shelf products and rely on the chemists/flavorists with established reputations and organizations. I would not hesitate with experimenting with triethyl citrate, but would be very cautious in what I chose to emulsify with it.

That certainly wouldn’t be your fault. As there are really no effective high shear devices that are anywhere near ‘affordable’ for average folks like us, I wouldn’t think a ‘nitwit’ looking to get into the game would benefit much from this knowledge. These THC oil pod manufacturers are pretty big-time and wouldn’t need to scour threads like this to glean new information. So I hope you don’t lose sleep over it.

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Agree but my point is that sometimes a little knowledge is worse than none. While I didn’t clarify this very well I can see the potential for some juice maker to conclude that since pros obviously have to make vaping products water soluble, they can too. Far too many times we’ve seen people that wanted to vape oil based products which may be fine for ingestion, but they can kill when inhaled.

My first exposure to high shear mixing was from a company that markets to cannabis product makers. But these devices have been used universally across food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and medical industries dating back several decades. (1948) Nevertheless they are dangerous in the wrong hands. Just because you can make an emulsion, it obviously doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Bottom line is that I stay within products made by established and qualified chemists and I use mechanical force rather than chemical experimentation. Even then I am reluctant to use extracts. With the combination of the two I have yet to find any flavoring that is not ready to vape within a few days and most immediately or the next day. Alcohol based can be somewhat problematic.

I have not abandoned the project I posted about but I did throw it all in a box and haven’t touched it since.

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I wasn’t trying to segue into the project, man. I was trying to soothe your conscience a bit, if possible. I agree that-

True in many cases really. Case in point, when I was a kid (maybe 8 years old), I used to like to take broken crap apart to see how it worked and see if I was slick enough to fix it. When I had a vague idea, I’d try to fix whatever I concluded was broken. I’d learned that electricity powered things, in this case an old drill that died and my pop was going to toss out.

After taking it apart and seeing the stator, brushes (all of which I did not know what they were called and why they mattered), I concluded that it looked like it should work so I put it back together. I then proceeded to re-connect the plug which my dad had cut off, probably to avoid my stupid ass plugging it in and killing myself.

So again, understanding that it needed to be plugged in to work, but not knowing how or why, I took the two pieces of cord and twisted them together. I just mooshed everything together, not separating positive from negative, nor wrapping the bird’s nest with electrical tape.

Satisfied that I’d just effected a brilliant repair that would return this proud old drill to service and make my Dad the proudest Dad ever, I then proceeded to plug it in to test it.

I remember this story for several reasons- One, the spark was bright and the pop was loud. Two, my Dad was actually not the Proudest Dad Ever when he had to replace a main fuse and hear mom bitch at him for leaving the drill laying around so my incompetent but curious hands could find it, and three because I learned a lot about electricity that day.

So yeah, a little knowledge can definitely be dangerous.

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I know you weren’t. I was “steering” since @yobad and many others have shown a lot of interest.

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One thing the thread showed me though is a good reason why I don’t get closer than 80% when I 3M mix with aggressive shaking and SV heat bathing. It is probably partly because the MF extractions are not going to really play well with 3M due to their alcohol base. I know what I do now will not get me as far as quickly as high shear will, but I am going to note the difference in perceived % completion when I do not use extracts in a juice.

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