Essential Oil Analyses

We assure the quality of your essential oils, because we know them.


Several types of control for essential oils are provided, since a chromatogram with the main components and their specifications (ISO, Ph.Eur...) to full reports with the authentication results, physico-chemical tests, sensory evaluation and our opinion about the quality and possible market aplications.

Characterization

Essential CharacterizationThe first step is the identification of every compound of the essential oil, injecting the sample in a Gas Chromatograph (GC) and detecting it in parallel with two detectors: a Mass Spectrometer (MS) for identification and a Flame Ionization Detector (FID) for quantification. Our knowledge and our background in the industry, in conjunction with our databases, built over many years, are crucial to offer reliable results.

If the characterization of the plant material is required, we also offer the lab distillation to obtain the essential oil and analyze it. At this point, we are able to issue many types of reports for essential oil distillers, suppliers, aromatherapy companies, etc. The configuration of this report depends on the type of analyses and/or consultancy chosen, offering chemical family and cosmetic restrictions for each individual component. Here we show several examples: [[CHA Sweet Fennel]]    [[GC Tea Tree]] [[QC-Mandarin]]


Essential Oil Authentication

Authentication

Due to the high grade of fraud and the lack of transparency in this market, If you are not the producer of the essential oil, you should have a purity and naturalness statement to assure the authenticity of the product. The best way to obtain this certificate, is demanding it to a third party laboratory specialized in essential oils. It is not recommended to request from the producer, due to obvious reasons. 

We use an specific method to analyze the purity and to detect possible adulterations of the essential oil: 'T-F-R-C' analysis (Trace, Fingerprint, Residue and Chiral analysis). Sometimes, additional tests could be necessary, but we usually do the following  analyses:


Trace Analysis: Many synthetic ingredients (and some naturals) have impurities which are not occurring in nature, or in the essential oil analyzed. They are used as markers to detect the addition of these ingredients in the essential oil. Due to low level of these substances inside the oil, we use a "SIM" (Selected Ion Monitoring) acquisition method with the MS detector. It consist of scanning determinate ions which are typical of the markers chemical structure, gaining sensitivity compared with a normal "SCAN" acquisition.

Fingerprint Analysis: The historical data of a determinate chemotype of essential oil is crucial to stablish a reliable pattern to compare the chemical composition elucidated at the first step (characterization). We have a lot of batches of every essential oil analyzed at the same operational conditions during years. It allows us to set percentage ranges in certain compounds that cannot be added either because of their price or because they do not exist on the market as ingredients. This is the "fingerprint" of the oil.

Residue Analysis: By Gas Chromatography we only "see" the volatile and semi-volatile substances. Therefore, what happens with non-volatile adulterations?. When we set an standard sample for a determinate chemotype, the 'residue on evaporation' analysis is carried out too. Usually, this level is inferior to 5% for essential oils. Then, after running a GC/FID analysis of a determinate sample, the sum of all the peak areas gives us the 'Total Volatile GC-Area". If this value is lower than the value of the standard sample, a non-volatile adulteration is suspected and further tests are carried out to try to elucidate what type of product has been added (vegetable oil, surfactant...).

Chiral Analysis: Some essential oils have chiral compounds in their composition, which show an specific ratio betweeen R and S enantiomers (the synthetized equivalent substances are usually racemic) . Through Chiral Chromatography is possible to measure this ratio, obtaining a valuable information to determine the naturalness of the sample.

[[AUT Lavender Example]]