The quality control of essential oils (EO) principally aims at revealing the presence of adulterations and at quantifying compounds that are limited by law by evaluating EO chemical compositions, usually in terms of the normalised relative abundance of selected markers, for comparison to reference values reported in pharmacopoeias and/or international norms. Common adulterations of EO consist of the addition of cheaper EO or synthetic materials. This adulteration can be detected by calculating the percent normalised areas of selected markers or the enantiomeric composition of chiral components. The dilution of the EO with vegetable oils is another type of adulteration. This adulteration is quite devious, as it modifies neither the qualitative composition of the resulting EO nor the marker’s normalised percentage abundance, which is no longer diagnostic, and an absolute quantitative analysis is required. This study aims at verifying the application of the two above approaches (i.e., normalised relative abundance and absolute quantitation) to detect EO adulterations, with examples involving selected commercial EO (lavender, bergamot and tea tree) adulterated with synthetic components, EO of different origin and lower economical values and heavy vegetable oils. The results show that absolute quantitation is necessary to highlight adulteration with heavy vegetable oils, providing that a reference quantitative profile is available.

Adulteration of essential oils: A multitask issue for quality control. three case studies: Lavandula angustifolia mill., Citrus limon (l.) Osbeck and Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden & Betche) Cheel

Capetti F.;Marengo A.;Cagliero C.;Liberto E.;Bicchi C.;Rubiolo P.;Sgorbini B.
2021

Abstract

The quality control of essential oils (EO) principally aims at revealing the presence of adulterations and at quantifying compounds that are limited by law by evaluating EO chemical compositions, usually in terms of the normalised relative abundance of selected markers, for comparison to reference values reported in pharmacopoeias and/or international norms. Common adulterations of EO consist of the addition of cheaper EO or synthetic materials. This adulteration can be detected by calculating the percent normalised areas of selected markers or the enantiomeric composition of chiral components. The dilution of the EO with vegetable oils is another type of adulteration. This adulteration is quite devious, as it modifies neither the qualitative composition of the resulting EO nor the marker’s normalised percentage abundance, which is no longer diagnostic, and an absolute quantitative analysis is required. This study aims at verifying the application of the two above approaches (i.e., normalised relative abundance and absolute quantitation) to detect EO adulterations, with examples involving selected commercial EO (lavender, bergamot and tea tree) adulterated with synthetic components, EO of different origin and lower economical values and heavy vegetable oils. The results show that absolute quantitation is necessary to highlight adulteration with heavy vegetable oils, providing that a reference quantitative profile is available.
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Adulteration of essential oils; Chiral analysis; Citrus limon (ex. Citrus × bergamia); Lavandula angustifolia; Melaleuca alternifolia
Capetti F.; Marengo A.; Cagliero C.; Liberto E.; Bicchi C.; Rubiolo P.; Sgorbini B.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1809830
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