How to Read a Certificate of Analysis

1.) Identifying the product name, genus and species of the plant (Latin name), LOT number for the product in question.

The Latin name describes first the genus of the plant, followed by the species of the plant. In this specific example the Lavandula is the genus for Wild Lavender and the angustifolia part of the name, is the species of the plant. It is important to identify the Latin name with oils that have similar names, because either the genus or the species could change slightly which could affect the chemical composition.

2.) The general properties of an oil describe the plant part, the cultivation method, the extraction method, and the country of origin.

The plant part varies for different oils and can be telling to the properties or chemical components in the oil. The cultivation method ranges from wild, natural, or organically cultivated. The requirements for these are defined by the USDA and EU NOP standards.

We have been certified as an organic production facility and meet all the requirements from ECOCERT for every oil labeled and sold as “organic.” The extraction method will vary from “steam distillation,” “CO2 extracted,” “solvent extracted,” and “cold pressed.” Each extraction method will target different constituents from the plant. The country of origin is not where the oil is distilled, but rather where the plant material is harvested.

3.) The technical data are a set of fingerprint measurements that are used to identify any possible inconsistencies of the oils when compared to previous tests.

These values of specific gravity, refractive index, atomic rotation and viscosity are compared to a previous tests and literature values of specific oils. These “fingerprint” tests are described on this website in detail under the GC/MS & Purity Testing section under the Quality and Chemistry header. These tests vary slightly between each oil, but are within a certain range when no adulteration has occurred.

4.) The molecular percentages are listed on the second page of the certificate of analysis and show the composition of the oil by percentage.

The chemical composition will show which chemicals are present and at what abundancy. This data is the key portion of the certificate of analysis and should be carefully examined when choosing an oil.

5.) The GC spectra shows the peaks associated to each chemical compound. The order of the chemical composition aligns with the order of the peaks in the GC spectra.