What is GC/MS testing?

Gas Chromatography (GC) is a method of separating the volatile compounds in essential oils into individual components and produces a linear graph that charts these components. Mass Spectrometry (MS) identifies each of these components and their percentages. This process identifies if chemicals are present that shouldn't be there or, to put it another way, if the essential oil is adulterated. Additionally, the precise breakdown of the chemical components in each oil given to us by GC/MS reports is significant because the therapeutic benefits and safety issues of essential oils are, in large part, determined by their chemical makeup.

GCMS Testing danielle chemist

Danielle our French chemist in his lab

Purity is essential for potency and safety

In order for essential oils to have the greatest therapeutic effect, they must be pure plant extracts. Adulterated oils or perfume oils will not offer therapeutic results and may cause harmful effects including allergies, headaches, and chemical sensitivities.

All Aromatics International essential oils are fully tested

We GC/MS test every batch of oil we purchase from any distiller or distributor. Once an essential oil is tested, we format the chemical constituents into chemical families for therapeutic blending purposes. All the main components and some of the trace components are listed on our test reports. The chemical family information is written for the oils sold on Aromatic International’s website and is specific for each batch of oil we buy.

We also think it's important that you are able to see these reports for yourself. We publish batch-specific reports for each essential oil’s product page so that you can review them and understand exactly what you are purchasing.

Reading GC/MS reports

Truly understanding a GC/MS report relies on a knowledge of essential oil chemistry that can typically only be gained through education. The Aromahead Institute offers in-depth courses that will teach you everything you need to know and more. To get a general sense, you can take a look at our chemical families blog to learn more.

August 10, 2020 — Karen Williams