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GC/MS

Gas Chromatogram with Mass Spectrophotometry.  

A GC/MS when used in relation with essential oils is the best way to determine the authenticity of oil.  The GC is used for separating the constituent of oil – its chemical make up.  The MS is used in conjunction with the GC to identify each individual constituent in the make-up of an essential oil.  We have specifications on each constituent, which enables us to get a better idea on the authenticity of essential oils. 

 

How the GCMS works 

 We prepare a sample of Absolute Ethanol in a small vile, and add about one drop of the essential oil to it.  We then place the sample in the sample rack ready for injection.  For the injection to begin, it can be initiated by the GC or the computer, which operates the MS.  This is where the determination of whether the sample will have a GC or a GC/MS is made.  A GC only gives you a trace printout which shows you the percentage of a peak (constituent) and the retention time.  The retention time is very important to the GC, because it shows you at what time a certain constituent was detected.  A retention time is used as a way of determining what a peak is, by comparing the times with a previous batch.  This method is used when MS has not been used.  A GC/MS trait involves a lot more useful information.  The GC trace is also produced when a GCMS is running, however, the peaks are recorded on our computer.  This computer contains a database with various libraries, which enables us to determine exactly what each individual peak is. 


GC works on the basis that components in a mixture are vaporized and transported through a column as a vapor.  Separation of the peaks occur as the sample component molecules move in and out of the stationery phase, and the carrier gas.  The stationery phase is a term used to state that at that point in the GC procedure is where separation occurs.  Once the sample is injected, it goes through the column where the materials are detected.  The material is detected in the column.  All components in the sample must be able to vaporize.  This is why an absolute alcohol is used in sample preparation.  Samples which cannot be vaporized will contaminate the column and injector, and thus give us an inaccurate result. 


With this sort of technical information, we are ensuring our customers that the cross-cultural essential oil they receive is of the highest quality. It also shows our customers that we endeavor to provide them with the best possible product. 


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