We pride ourselves in using research to improve production practices and technologies in order to provide individuals with complete chemical profiles of essential oils.
To measure the quality of an essential oil sample, we compare its chemical profile with the data from another sample previously shown to be high quality. This other sample is called a reference standard. Our reference standards are taken from carefully collected samples of raw plant materials from all over the world, distilled in our state-of-the-art lab, and tested to ensure optimal purity.
Chemical ecology is the study of organisms, their interactions with the environment, and how variations within the environment affect the health and usefulness of the organism. The chemical ecology of a plant has a direct impact on the chemical make-up and quality of the essential oil it produces. For instance, the chemical composition of an essential oil can vary depending on the season, the time of day, and the region where the plant is grown. We utilize chemical ecology to better understand the essential oil source and its influence on essential oil quality.
Toxicology research is the investigation of any possible harmful effects that a compound might have on living things. By compiling toxicology data from various sources, we can ensure that the essential oils we test are free of carcinogenic agents, toxic substances, and poisons. We have access to thousands of primary research studies involving in vivo and in vitro experimental models of toxicology and essential oil compounds.
Analytical chemistry is the process of determining the chemical composition of a material—in our case, essential oils. Using advanced laboratory techniques like gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, our chemists can identify what chemical compounds are present in an essential oil sample, in addition to finding the exact percent composition for each compound. This gives us a complete and unique chemical fingerprint for every essential oil we test.
While our testing methods are state of the art, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be improved. For instance, detecting essential oil constituents that exist in trace amounts can be difficult. Interpreting the data for previously undiscovered compounds requires expert skill. Method development involves finding ways to identify new constituents in essential oils, as well as developing customized testing to explore any questions about essential oils that have not been addressed previously. Through continued research we are able to develop new technologies that allow us to improve our testing methods and better verify the purity of essential oils.
Biological activity describes the way essential oils interact with structures inside living organisms. Many essential oil compounds are already known to interact with cell surface receptors, enzymes in the cytosol, and membrane structures. However, the vast majority of essential oils’ bioactivity remains unexplained. We are involved in new research aimed at identifying and explaining the beneficial applications of essential oils.
Isolation and structure elucidation is the separation of individual constituents of essential oils so that they can be independently studied to examine any biological or toxicological impact. Sometimes this process also includes the study of previously unidentified chemical compounds. Complex laboratory equipment and analysis software are used to deduce the structures of new compounds from raw chemical data. This allows us to expand our knowledge of chemical constituents within essential oils.