An essential oil is a natural aromatic (volatile) compound found in parts of many types of plants. They are obtained by distillation or cold press/expression. Essential oils have been used for centuries in a variety of different capacities from flavors and fragrances to aromatherapy and other therapeutic applications.

Essential oils differ from extracts because the extraction process requires a solvent be added to the plant material. Extracts are often made of a similar chemical profile as essential oils but will have heavier components as well that do not typically come through the distillation process.

According to Verify Markets, an independent market research and consulting firm, the two biggest restraints to the aromatherapy and essential oil market are lack of industry standards and quality. Currently, the essential oil market is unregulated, meaning anyone can sell an oil and claim it is pure.

Adulteration can occur at any level of the supply chain, from the growers to the bottlers. Often, distributors don’t even know that they buy and then sell adulterated oils. Testing can verify quality and a trusted third-party lab confirms accuracy in what is being purchased.

An estimated 80% of essential oils on the market are adulterated. APRC’s Dr. Satyal classifies adulteration into five degrees, based on sophistication. At the first, most basic level, carrier or cooking oils are added to increase volume. At the highest degree, compounds are isolated from other plant materials and used to create the desired oil. For example, eugenol can be taken from clove oil and used to create copaiba oil.

APRC is the only testing and research company with a global presence that solely focuses on aromatic plants. We work with various global clients to ensure the purity of essential oils and expand research on aromatic plants. APRC has highly trained scientists who are able to detect minute adulteration. Adulteration can occur on any level of the supply chain, and distributors often don’t realize that they are selling adulterated oil. Without regulation of the industry, it is not surprising that experts estimate that 80% of essential oils on the market are adulterated.

Our competitive pricing is matched by our turnaround time of 3-5 business days for testing. We have unique field research with a focus on sustainable practices that improve efficiencies in the industry. We have a variety of global clients who utilize our services to improve their own.

APRC is independently owned and operated by CEO Aaron Sorensen and CSO Dr. Prabodh Satyal. All of our independent research is funded internally through our business structure as a privately held LLC. Occasionally, independent clients will contract us to conduct research, which they pay for.

To submit a sample, you can email us at info@aromaticplant.org to request a sample submission form and quote for your samples.

Each individual company has its own policy on testing results. APRC does not publish any results.

Once we receive a sample, it is entered into our manifest. A lab technician then preps the sample to be put on our GC-MS. The sample is loaded into the queue and will be tested in the order it was received. A GC-MS test takes two hours. Once the graph is generated by the GC, a chemist then analyzes the graph to determine if the oil meets the standards in its category. Depending on the needs of our client, we can also perform physical constant testing, LCMS, HPLC, GC-FID, micro, and other tests.

Once we receive samples at our lab in Lehi, Utah, it will take 3-5 business days to receive results.

All of our published research is on the publications tab of our website. We also have sustainability findings on the bottom of the sustainability page.  

Due to client confidentiality, we are unable to share the results of our testing unless authorized to do so. One resource to see our results is on the American College of Healthcare Science’s Apothecary Shoppe.