Verification of Essential Oils for Contamination or Adulteration

Essential oils are high-value substances and thus popular targets for adulteration to increase profit. Cora 5001 can help to uncover contaminated essential oils.

Essential oils are usually obtained by steam distillation or mechanical processes from natural vegetable raw materials. They are used in cosmetic, flavor, animal feeding and pharmaceutical industry as well as in aromatherapy. Unfortunately, adding cheaper components like vegetable oils, synthetic chemicals or essential oils of minor value to high-value essential oils is a known issue in the essential oil market. Economically motivated adulteration to keep down raw material costs affects mostly high-value oils like sandalwood and rose oil or best-selling oils like e.g. citrus oils, lavender or peppermint.

Detecting contaminants to uncover adulteration is crucial to stop those frauds and to maintain the quality of products for which essential oils are used. Especially essential oils in medicinal products might risk the health of consumers. Besides the evaluation of appearance, color and odor, common analysis techniques to detect adulterants are gas chromatography, HPLC or NMR.  However, those are time-consuming which slows down quality control and production and they also consume the sample. Cora 5001 offers a fast detection of contaminated samples via a simple verification method within seconds to overcome these disadvantages. Besides, Raman spectroscopy only needs small samples amounts, is usually non-destructing and depending on the vessel it can be applied without opening the sample. Raman spectroscopy can be especially useful if non-volatile adulterants like vegetable oils are involved.

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