Identifictation of essential oils

Raman spectroscopy easily differentiates between different essential oils by their unique chemical fingerprint

Introduction

Essential oils are extracts from plants which are typically obtained by hydrodistillation. Chemically, they consist of a complex mixture of various compounds such as terpenes and phenylpropanoids. They are not only used in cosmetics but also as medicinal products and highly regulated by international as well as national laws and standards. Therefore, monitoring the quality of the oils is of vital importance for manufacturers as well as in the processing industries.

Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive method to quickly and easily identify essential oils.

Since this method is extremely sensitive to molecular composition it also is able to detect adulterations with cheaper oils as well as identify the chemotype of the oil, which may differ depending on the geographical region of origin of the oil.

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