Creating milliard reaction in ZERO nic juice?

I have noticed that ZERO nic e liquid does not steep. This can be overcome in fruit blends by using many flavors at lower percentages. Desserts however like custards and creams will not “develop” the same way as if they were to contain nicotine. Wondering if there is a way to create the millard reaction in a zero nic e liquid ? What is it about nic that causes the steep to occur?. Any ideas?

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Tell me more - do you notice this with a particular recipe. mmmm, interesing the nic causes the steep you say. I see a lot of people steep without nic then add it after steeping as the nic degrades. Not saying you are wrong. Matter of looking for evidence.

experiment - use the recipe you have noticed this with - 1 with nic 1 without. steep in exact same conditions. DO the same with a different style of recipe or two. Observe at time intervals. then we could look at the data.
-your recipe with nic
-your recipe without nic
-recipe 2 with nic
-recipe 2 without nic
-recipe 3 with nic
-recipe 3 without nic
Make observations every 3 days perhaps. Take a photo for colour describe colour. Test vape and describe flavours. It’s not a perfect setup but it’s not bad.

I’d love to see the results. If you don;t want to do it I’d be interested, what recipe are you talking about?

Experiment is not necessary. I have been mixing for four years and already have results. I just tried a vanilla custard ZERO made 3+ months ago tastes same as when it was made, no colour change. The very same vanilla custard at even 1mg will change from light yellow to amber within months and flavor will improve become more creamy, smooth and harsh notes will fade or dissapear. I am certain NIc is the variable that causes the milliard reaction.
Question is what is it about Nic that causes a reaction and is there any other ingredient with similar properties that can mimic the nic?

I’ve seen people say they steep there juices without nic then add it in afterwards to minimise nic degradation?

been trying to find any info on google.

see @UncleJoe post here, he states nicotine as a accelerator as it is alkali. Lower ph speeds up Malliard.

I’m leaning towards nicotine not being a required ingredient. The amino acids in the flavourings are what is reacting I think you’ll have to do some more experimenting to isolate what is occuring. Instincts can be easily misled. If you wanted to get into the nitty gritty scientific why’s of nicotine but is that even the cause. Your evidence is anecdotal not imperical is that right? it may well be worth getting some data and my hunch is that your heading in a direction that is misleading.

In the test, try some baking soda it lowers ph too and won’t mask flavours too much. That would show it is not necessarily Nicotine that is the cause/catalyst but ph.
I don’t know any of the answers, but I know a little about malliard reactions in cooking (lot higher temps). I’m a big believer in evidence. So many things we believe are not born out with evidence.

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I mix without nic and will say that my mixes most certainly steep - I do tests throughout the steeping period and find it changes and comes together as it should. It might be that some mixes don’t get as dark as some with nic, but I think that is the nic reacting to the flavors more than the flavors not steeping, IMHO.


I have mixed many zero nic e liquids all of which stay the same colour after mixed and the profile does not change or develop over time. Mixes with nic change colour and the profile develops over time (creams, icing, custards ) come to life after steep of 1month. Zero nic juices that are fruit based many taste as if they have steeped but this could be the result of unintentional streething/breathing as the liquid is in use.

I suspect it has more to do with ph then presence of nic. I’ll do the empirical when i get time.


Agreed if it is the PH of the nic then the variable is still the Nic whether it be because of PH or not. Semantics in my mind. Though you may have inadvertently answered my qusetion. Baking Soda hardly seems a safe catylst IMO though it is used to cook unsavory smokable drugs is it not?

are you kidding? not semantics at all. inadverdently answered your post. Bloody cheeky!!! credit were credit is due mate.
q1. you wanted to know what is in nicotine that causes malliard. Answer ; ph
q2. how to steep without nic; answer lower ph (baking soda is an option but i’m sure there are plenty of other options. It is what I use in cooking to lower ph and speed up malliard) none of this is confirmed?

BTW baking soda is just a salt. Doctors use it intravenously, orally, Safe as houses (don’t take a household full though) You’ll be fine. Jebus, you are vaping nicotine a poison let alone what the composition of some of the flavours are I don’t even know but I bet they are much more toxic at levels then baking soda.

If you’ve got a 0.01g scale you can prepare a solution easy. Please feedback your results cheeky bastard.

We’re dealing with flavorings that have volatile top notes.

The flavors will “steep” with oxygen. The more oxygen you expose to your mix–the faster it will mature, releasing all those chemical tasting top notes. Nicotine does not play a part in steeping. If you are having issues with your 0mg batches steeping, try to recycle the oxygen in the bottle every few days (open the cap, let new air into the bottle, close the cap).


Crazy slightly relevant fact;
Modern somellier at the fancy restuarants have taken to “hyper-decanting” their wines. That is they pulse the $500 bottle of wine in a blender, exposing the wine to as much “air” as possible.

@adamt how confident are you that the steeping process is a malliard reaction. Do you think there are other reactions?

There actually are other reactions taking place – I just had this discussion on fb after I posted an article on steeping processes. An example I could find of it was

in this article above. Talks about cherry molecules

One example of a somewhat tricky flavor is cherry, mainly composed of benzaldehyde. It can react with alcohol or organic compounds within other flavors, to form acetals. Cherry is a popular flavor blended into juices and fruit punch, and Grover indicates some end-users prefer to mix their own flavors from different sources to maintain a proprietary position on their formula. However, if one company uses propylene glycol as a flavor carrier for strawberry and mixes this with a cherry flavor, this can spur a reaction over time.

You guys might actually find that whole article rather interesting. It was something I found while doing research.


Apologies was in argument with girlfriend just before writing this. I was incorrect and it was wrong of me to be short.


I’m not well versed in the textbook terminology of mixing, but I can tell you 100% that 0mg are able to steep. My juice line’s samples are in 0mg.

I have my ejuice manufactured in a lab, and I’ve consulted the lab technician many times about the science of steeping. It’s all about time x fresh oxygen. Shaking the bottle creates air bubbles, which help carry the top notes out of the mix, and gets let out when you take off the cap. Cover. Wait a couple days, shake, recycle the oxygen, wait some more.

Don’t leave them uncovered overnight. The flavors will mute, the nicotine will become weaker. I’ve even found that the throat hit will dissipate. But there’s no one size fits all–all flavors are different, and will react differently.

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your good. no need to apologise appreciate it at the same time. Trust me. I love being a smart arse anyway so take what I say with bushells of salt. Don’t hold grudges unless they are being an absolute tool the majority of the time. You don;t come across that way. Like a straight talker too. I rate you even more now mate. And give your girlfriend a kiss for me!

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Personally, it seems we are such an immature science and many and all preconceptions need to be tested, proven investigated. Great field to find a diamond then. I love a good experiment, Triangle tests, double blinds, the whole lot and I love getting answers I don’t expect and trying to join the dots. The next year is going to be fun. You guys have given me plenty of stuff to work on. Got to get a decent dripper to start testing with too absolute noob with too much knowledge and a cocky attitude. Shits going to get real.


well its been just over three weeks and test results are in. As i suggested. Zero’s do not steep! Here is how i did the test.

  1. Control tester 2% RF SC VC 70/30VG/PG NO NIC 0mg
  2. 2% RF SC VC 70/30VG/PG 3MG
  3. 2% RF SC VC 70/30VG/PG NO NIC 0mg +additives:
    0.5% 0.9%Saline solution
    1% Mg(OH)2 distilled water solution
    Volly you suspected alkalinity of nicotine was acting as Catalyst for milliard reaction and steep.
    I ordered pure Magnesium Hydroxide which is a 2.0 PH and tested whether increasing alkalinity would speed steeping in a 0mg mix. As you cam see the uploaded pic both ZERO E Liquids are same colour and taste while the 3mg both smells and tastes better. Is this Empirical enough for you lol
    Photo taken with light source on either side
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Don’t take me the wrong way not trying to be difficult at all. I want to get to the bottom of it. I don’t care either way what is going on. I just want to know.

I’m no biochemist but a quick google on magnesium hydroxide (I could be cherry picking too) says it’s not effective as a ph neutraliser in water. I know we are not using water.

To me now all I know is I have no clue what’s going on now (as I probably should have said at the time). Too complicated for me to say, I can say for the mix you were making it likes Nic to steep. What is going on I don’t know, because remember people were saying they add Nic after steeping. Huh. What is different for them (they have not been as good as you at demonstrating) are they mistaken. Personally, I’ve never made a mix without it and will take that approach till more can be determined.

You’ve done well. Although not answered what’s going on. Actually bloody made the water murkier, it would be safe to say at this point. I don’t know why and under what conditions, but its best to put your Nic in for steeping.

Dips me lid, sir. Love this stuff much more to be uncovered. I’ve got a few going myself. But will take a while to report, bloody steeping.

Merry Xmas mate.


Hey Volition. Happy new year brother. After proper testing i am positive Zero Nic E liquids to not “steep”. Allowing volatiles to escape and flavors to settle is NOT what the same as the liquid “curing” ie a milliard reaction and the liquid changing colour, transforming and evolving over time. Perhaps “Curing” is the term we should use for the latter. Anyhow, my testers have not changed, with the exception of the one with Nic. It has become much creamier and complex than its two non nic counterparts

My question is do you have any ideas for an additive that can increase PH? I would gladly order it and run further tests

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