Testing the Purity of Essential Oils

Image used for illustrative purposes only

Essential Oils, say users, help relax, soothe, vitalise, prevent wrinkles, heal acne and do so much more. But all this is based on one condition – their purity. Sadhna Kini talks about testing their purity in this interesting article.

With the increased consumer knowledge about the ill effects of synthetic chemicals, there has been a striking increase in the demand for natural and organic essential oils in various applications like flavours, fragrances & cosmeceuticals. Essential Oils are highly concentrated volatile aromatic compounds which impart a characteristic aroma to the plants called Aroma crops. These oils can be extracted from various parts of the plant (roots, leaves, fruits, flowers, buds & barks) via numerous modes like Distillation (steam distillation and hydro-distillation), Hydro diffusion, Enfleurage, Supercritical fluid extraction, Solvent extraction to name a few. These oils perform many of the same functions in plants as they do for us. Hence, they are brought to us as experienced & trained professionals who work for our health & well-being.

Defining the purity of Essential Oils

The mode of extraction & quality of the botanical source (aromatic plant part) plays a major role in defining the purity & quality of the resultant essential oil. Only those essentials are considered as “pure” that are:

  • not diluted with carrier oils
  • not diluted with synthetic alternatives
  • extracted from the true botanical source.

The ‘Ring Test’ to Test Purity

The purity of essential oils plays a very important role as it is directly proportional to its activity on application. The aroma oil purity can easily be tested by the “RING TEST”. In this test, a drop of essential oil is placed on a smelling strip / any strip of paper and is left to dry. If a visible ring of residue remains on the paper, the essential oil is adulterated (with carrier oils or synthetic substitutes) and is of low purity. Given its volatile nature, pure essential oils should not leave behind any residue when it dries.


Image used for illustrative purposes only

Ensuring Quality and Purity of Essential Oils

To ensure the quality and purity of essential oils, companies must make long-term investments in the instrumentation and the professional staff necessary to guarantee the identity, purity, and quality of essential oils. Besides, companies like ours work closely with our growers and suppliers to safeguard the quality of our raw materials.

Author: Sadhna Kini

Associate Manager (International Business Development)                                                                  NISHANT AROMAS PVT. LTD. (Guide:  Ramakant Harlalka)

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