Is it safe to eat ester?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “is it safe to eat ester?”. As well, we will discuss what is an ester, what is an ester as animal and vegetable content, what are lipids, are esters in wine, are esters flavoring agents, and other concerns about edible esters.  

Is it safe to eat ester?

Yes, it is safe to eat ester present in foods, not the isolated compound. Ester is present in animal and vegetable content, which you can eat. 

What is an ester?

In chemistry, an ester is a compound present in animal and vegetable content as oils, but also as other substances in fruits. Ester is obtained from an inorganic or organic acid in which at minimum one -OH (hydroxyl) is substituted by one -O- (alkoxy). 

What is an ester as animal and vegetable content?

An ester is present in all animal and vegetable oils. Glycerides or called acylglycerols are produced from glycerol and fatty acid esters, they are crucial and very studied in biology and they are the major classes of lipids.

What are lipids?

Lipids are any organic substance that can’t be dissolved in water and can be dissolved in nonpolar solvents or in other words, any substance that is insoluble in water. Oils are considered lipids, as they are insoluble in water.    

Are there esters in wine?

In wine, there is a reaction of fermentation that forms alcohols and then interacts with carboxylic acids to form esters. The ester present in wine is called ethyl acetate, an organic compound, and the concentration of ethyl acetate is responsible for the flavor of the wine.

Are esters flavoring agents?

Esters are also crucial to give or accentuate the flavor of food and drinks, as a flavoring agent. In fruits, esters develop naturally and improve their specific flavors. According to research by Vitz et al. (2021), below are listed the type of esters and following their flavors.

  • N-amyl acetate. Present in bananas and pears;
  • N-amyl butrate. Present in apricots;
  • N-octyl acetate. Present in origins;
  • Ethyl formate. Present in rum;
  • Ethyl butrate. Present in pineapples;
  • Methyl salicylate. Present in oil of wintergreen;
  • Methyl butrate. Present in apples;
  • Linalyl acetate. Present in sage and lavender. 

Are edible oils considered additives?

In the industry of food, there is ester as edible oils as contact lubricants, they can be used in the equipment in all processes of the industry chain. Edible oils are used in processes that will have direct contact with the food, so are used as indirect and direct food additives.

What is the legal definition of food additives?

In legal terms, food additives are all substances used in food that can affect the characteristics of the foods, directly or indirectly. This also includes all substances used in any stage of the manufacturing.

What are indirect food additives?

Indirect food additives are when their use is not direct and happens as a consequence of stages of the manufacturing, like the packaging. The food additive will be a part as a trace in the food. So, all materials that contact the food, need to be allowed by federal authorities. 

What are direct food additives?

Direct food additives are when the use is made for a specific purpose in that food and most of them are listed on the food labels.

How regulates the use of additives in the food industry? 

The use of additives is meticulously regulated by the federal authorities of each country. One example is the Food and Drug Administration, which rules in the US. All additives have the maximum limited amount in foods, as they need to be safe for consumers 

What are the benefits of edible oil esters as contact lubricants?

According to Croda, the use of edible oil esters lubricants brings many benefits to the food-grade chain and is used as indirect additives. Below are listed some benefits of their use. To know more about it, click here.  

  • Can be made lubricants with 68 – 220 mm²/s of viscosity;
  • As edible oils, these lubricants are safe to use in the food chain;
  • They give elevated oxidative stability;
  • They have 230°C volatility;
  • They remain few deposits after decomposition;
  • They give great power of lubricity. 

How esters are used as direct additives in the food chain?

Esters can also be used as solvent and surfactant in the food industry. A solvent substance can dissolve ingredients and then mix them. A surfactant substance can permit the mix of separated substances and remain in suspension.  


In this brief guide, we have discussed the question “is it safe to eat ester?”. As well, we have discussed what is an ester, what is an ester as animal and vegetable content, what are lipids, are esters in wine, are esters flavoring agents, and other concerns about edible esters.  

References Accessed: 05/04/2022 Accessed: 05/04/2022 Accessed: 05/04/2022 Accessed: 05/04/2022 Accessed: 05/04/2022

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.