Cosmetics, Food, Pharma | Determining the half-life of essential oils using viscosity

Looking for reliable and precise viscosity measurements requiring only small amounts of sample? Lovis 2000 M/ME is the perfect solution. Dynamic and kinematic viscosity as well as polymer parameters like intrinsic viscosity are gained from sample volumes as low as 100 μL.

Essential oils are volatile and liquid aroma compounds from natural sources and can be obtained by extraction processes such as steam/water distillation and cold pressing. They can be used as natural flavors in food and fragrances in perfumes, personal care products or in some medicines used for certain respiratory infections. Due to their manifold properties and high number of possible applications, the study of essential oils is of great interest.

A specific knowledge of the chemical composition and properties of essential oils is fundamental for their adequate use. Essential oils are known to be susceptible to conversion and degradation reactions which cause a loss of quality and pharmacological properties. Besides color and viscosity changes aging processes also can cause allergic skin reactions. Oxidation of essential oils affects viscosity, refractive index, and density among other parameters. Therefore, the viscosity is an important indicator for the quality of essential oils.

Furthermore, the viscosity influences the final drop size and how easy it is to dose the oil, for instance when blending oils. The viscosity of an essential oil determines its volatility and is thus instrumental in determining the so-called "half-life". The half-life is the time it takes for 50 % of the amount of oil to remain aromatically active.

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