Forget Smoke, Think Bespoke

Liquids | 17 July 2017
Keeley L Walkerby Keeley L Walker

We believe that our customers always know best.

Therefore, our closed capsule e-liquids are not only the most traceable on the market for accountability, they are created for you, by you.

How? Allow me to explain…

Let’s Start with the Basics.

Most people ‘in the know’ will tell you that an e-liquid or e-juice is comprised of four ingredients:

  •      PG (Propylene Glycol)
  •      VG (Vegetable Glycerin)
  •      Nicotine
  •      Flavourings

Fine. This is accurate enough at first glance. Those are your main ingredients.

We know what PG is – an odourless, colourless petroleum by-product found in many household goods (toothpaste/ baby-wipes) and, in the context of vaping, it provides the “throat hit” that so satisfies former smokers when inhaled.

Similarly, we know what VG is – again, odourless ( VG carries some sweetness and has some flavour)  and colourless, this is the other suspension liquid ( VG provides the visual vapor, often used in plays to create appearance of smoke)  in e-juice which carries flavour. Unlike PG, it is more syrupy in texture and creates larger plumes of vape.

And of course, there is nicotine.  That’s the one that settles those cravings smokers inevitably feel when giving up cigarettes.

Essentially, the PG and VG are the carriers, the nicotine gives the effect and finally the flavour offers the experience.

But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different flavoured e-juices on the market.

Why? Because of that mysterious fourth element – the “flavouring” – the most variable element in all e-juice recipes.

It is this magic sprinkling that conjures any taste experience imaginable, from straight forward fruit to such wild concoctions as nacho cheese (seriously, it’s out there).

And so, we must ask, what do these flavours contain?

It is this question that continues to baffle regulators and experts drowning in the river of e-juice that is flowing through the marketplace in a never-ending stream of experimentation.

In truth, the components that are used to create a specific flavour experience are plentiful in the extreme. Sometimes as many as 200 elements are used to create a particular flavour or ‘essence’.

To put it simply – flavouring is not an ingredient in it’s own right. It is a collection of ingredients – a secret concoction that is never spelled out to the consumer. And, one could reasonably argue, this variability in flavour components is the reason that Public Health England defines the category as 95% harm reduced, not 99% harm reduced, or even 99.9%, in comparison to combustible tobacco.

The thinking among formulation creators, or flavourists, until recently has been that if something is safe to ingest, it is safe to inhale. That is to say, if you can eat it, you can vape it. The inconvenient truth is that what may sit very nicely in your stomach has no business gate-crashing your lungs.  In fact, some elements can be toxic when it comes to inhalation and if any of these components make their way into your liquid of choice, you may be placing your health in jeopardy.

But it needn’t be that way…

When you choose AYR, you can rest assured that all ingredients used to make the flavours have been through a multi-stage tox risk assessment by a board certified toxicologist using inhalation as the route of exposure and have been approved for use in e-cigs by the world’s leading toxicologists, allowing us to offer the ‘gold standard’ in quality.

What makes our formulations a cut above the rest?

Well, the answer is two-fold.

Firstly, we create our own proprietary formulations rather than outsourcing them to a flavour house. So we know, from the ground up, every single note that has gone into creating, say, the flavour of a strawberry. By the way, for those wondering why we use synthetic components to create the flavour of a particular fruit rather than extracting it from the plant itself, the answer is simple – continuity. And reproducibility.

Not all strawberry fields are born equally. Nor do they perform the same way in every growth cycle. So, by creating the flavour synthetically, we ensure there is no variability. Because with variability comes issues with quality control which brings us, full circle, back to safety.

We provide consistent quality assurance and ensure our standards of quality are impenetrable.

AYR is proud to have partnered with one of the five board-certified toxicologists in the EU & USA specialising in inhalation. The other four are not accessible because they work exclusively for Big Tobacco companies. We work exclusively for the development of all of our  e-liquids with the fifth and it is this toxicologist who gives the green light to whatever formulations our flavourists dream up, much of which is inspired by the imaginations of our faithful consumers (but more of that to come).

So, let’s go through the procedure…

Think of a flavour, any flavour. The only limitation, at this point, is your imagination.

Got it? Great, we’ll try it.

Next up, we request that our flavourists come up with whatever notes are required to create the essence of that flavour.

Then, before moving any further, the flavourist must consult our toxicologist with the list of ingredients they hope to mix in order to create that particular expression and await permission to proceed.

The crucial question is, “I know these elements are safe to eat but are they safe to be inhaled?”

We have developed and continue to expand an extensive library of materials that are approved for use in e-liquids – our ‘green list’. Our flavourists draw from this list exclusively to make flavours. They cannot use materials on our orange ( not yet approved or undergoing evaluation) or red list (negative toxicological risk assessment).

And, make no mistake, there are times when the view that’s fed back informs us that there is not sufficient evidence to prove that a particular element is suitable for inhalation. Under these circumstances, it’s back to the drawing board for our flavourists and they are presented with the task of creating the same experience using a different combination. And so on and so forth.

Now, supposing we have all the right ingredients to create your dream liquid, we begin a process of testing and tasting to make sure that the formulation is true to the flavour it represents.

This is, you could say, where the fun starts. We want to please as many palates as possible so we call upon our army of trusted tastemakers and take every piece of feedback into account. (Any of our users have the opportunity to become a tastemaker – but that is another tale for another time.) Meanwhile, where were we?

Okay, so the formulation is being optimised. A little bit more of this, a touch less of that, another pinch of the other – eventually we will reach a perfect solution.

Whatever levels make the final cut, we know one thing for sure – this liquid is of the highest quality to vape.

Meanwhile, the other side of what we do to guarantee the safety of our product is authenticate that each and every capsule is a true and genuine version and, therefore, take full responsibility for it.

How do we this?

Well, each capsule has a chip on it containing specific data as to the very batch that individual capsule came from. Data so specific, it tells us everything down to which engineers were on the production line on the day any batch was generated. So if, for any reason, we have a single legitimate cause to doubt anything in relation to a batch of formulations, we can instantly turn off all the serial numbers on that batch.

In other words, we have instant product recall.

So, there you have it. We have formulations and ingredients we fully understand and take responsibility for, complete control over the capsule in which it is stored and, crucially, flavours that are inspired by you. There is a third ingredient, which allows us to promise complete safety – adaptive temperature control and I will tell you all about that in due course. 

Stay tuned for that and more on how to become a taste-maker

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