- Essential Oils & Extracts
- Quality & Chemistry
Our testing methods are led by our analytical chemist Dr. Anthony Ferrari and our lab technician. Each oil undergoes 6 major tests, GC/MS analysis (gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry), viscosity measurement, optical rotation, refractive index, specific gravity, and organoleptic analysis. Our tests are pooled into a database that helps to identify any problematic or unexpected results that would be detrimental to the quality of the oil. All oils are tested within 24 hours of arrival and must pass all five tests prior to sale.
Our GC/MS testing method allows for us to view and identify compounds within each oil and see its chemical make up. Methods of cultivation, elevation, and season can change the chemical composition between batches. Our goal is to find any possible adulterations, contaminations, or inconsistencies.
Viscosity measurements describe the "thickness" of an oil. Ensuring each oil is within normal ranges can aid in the identification of an adulterated oil.
The optical rotation of an essential oil is also a great indicator for adulteration because most essential oils maintain the property of rotating the plane of polarized light when placed in a beam of rotating polarized light. Each essential oil has its own narrow normal range that can be useful in identifying a low quality, or less than pure oil.
The refractive index is another excellent test that is specific to each individual essential oil. Any change in the optimal composition of an oil can greatly affect the refractive index and therefore provide insight on the quality of oil.
The specific gravity of an oil is another important measurement of an essential oil that is affected by temperature. Each oil has its own normal range and can vary from batch to batch.
The organoleptic properties of an oil are those that relate to odor and color. Essential oil odors do vary from batch to batch depending on environmental factors, such as climate, rain fall, or seasonal temperature. Our experienced noses can sense the difference between "bad" batches that may not be detectable from other testing methods. Additionally, the color of each batch may vary from batch to batch or age of an oil.