Through the past few decades, essential oils have quickly become staples in most households. Because so many people use essential oils, there’s a higher demand for product sourcing and quality control. That’s where lab testing comes in. Here’s a guide to GC-MS testing for the quality of essential oils.
Analyzing the Purity
Essential oils are pure essentialized liquids of naturally occurring materials. If any other items dilute the oil, it’s no longer as potent or pure. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) machine enables technicians to separate a sample into its individual parts and analyze each for its chemical properties. These properties then lead to the identification of the elements and the overall purity of the essential oil. Testing facilities will measure the compound according to industry standards, showing exactly how the sample differed. This allows the supplier to understand what’s healthy about their oil and what, if anything, is wrong with it.
Confirming Oil Identity
People use all kinds of oils, from vegetable to sesame; essential oils are but one of a vast array of oils. This means the essential oil itself may not be exactly what manufacturers say. GC-MS testing confirms the exact identity of the oil in the mixture, showing that lavender essential oil, for instance, consists of lavender and not olive. Verifying the essential oil’s identity is vital to a company’s integrity and to consumer information. Some people may even be allergic to peanut or sesame oils that producers could secretly mix in. To avoid any health scares and boost consumer trust, businesses dealing with essential oils should use GC-MS tests.
Assessing the Safety
Essential oils are potent, and the plants they come from could cause harm to unsuspecting users. It’s vital to assess the safety of an essential oil’s concentration so that any warning labels or allergy reports are accurate. The last thing an essential oils vendor wants is to sell a product that severely harms a customer.
Using this guide to GC-MS testing for the quality of essential oils can help you make the best decision for your business. If you have any questions about chromatography or want to build an in-house testing station, reach out to us at GenTech Scientific. We can help you buy a mass spectrometer and set it up for oil testing.