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PhytoChemia Acta

Popularization

Oil profiles: Cardamom

16 January 2018

Sarah-Eve Tremblay, M. Sc. A., chimiste Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is part of the Zingiberaceae family, just like ginger, curcuma and plai. It is a perennial shrub that can reach a height of 2,5 meters with thick lateral roots on which the seeds grow. The cardamom seeds are harvested from a pod, from which they are […]

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Oil profiles: Balsam fir

20 December 2017

Sarah-Eve Tremblay, M. Sc. A., chimiste The fir is directly associated to the holidays frenzy. It is decorated with lights, garlands and, of course, a star on top. Often a small village is built at its foot. Its scent gives the house a festive and comforting smell. That is why, in this holiday season, we will […]

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Toluene in essential oils

1 November 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste A while ago, I mentionned in an article about Boswellia serrata essential oil that it almost always contained toluene. This compound tends to trigger unrest for some essential oils reseller and consumers, as toluene is indeed a relatively common petroleum-derived industrial solvent. The assumption thus becomes that the oil has […]

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Green, natural and organic

27 June 2017

Benoit Roger Ph. D.   In a previous blog, we talked about naturals vs. synthetics and we saw that the question is a bit trickier than it seems. In a few words, some consider (and we’re a part of them) that natural compounds are just those forged by nature or spontaneously formed during the extraction process […]

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Synthetic Methyl Salicylate and You

12 June 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, chimiste Essential oils are worth quite a lot of money. It so happens that, in order to boost profits, unscrupulous people alter oils in various ways. This “Adulterants and you” series is there to introduce you to some of the adulterations we encounter. This is because not all of them are necessarily obvious, […]

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Oxidized Oils and How to Find Them

22 May 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph.D. When we talk about essential oil quality, the first analysis to be discussed beside organoleptic evaluation (odor, color, clarity, etc.) is gas chromatography (GC-MS or GC-FID, which you can discover through our GC analysis blog series). This is entirely understandable and even justified as it brings a good overall view of essential […]

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Do It Faster, Makes Us Stronger – Fast GC

11 May 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph. D., & Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste We have read many times on various oils-oriented Facebook groups indications that gas chromatographic columns should be as long as possible to achieve proper separation. Similarly, it is often stated that short analysis runs negatively impact the quality of data obtained. And under the most […]

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Ethylvanillin and you

31 March 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc, chimiste Essential oils and other plant-derived fragrant extracts are worth quite a lot of money. It so happens that, in order to boost profits, unscrupulous people alter oils in various ways. This “Adulterants and you” series is there to introduce you to some of the adulterations we encounter. This is because […]

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Scientific Literature – What is it? (Part 2/2)

14 November 2016

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste We have just discussed the various types of scientific literature, and their peer-reviewing process. All in all, peer-review is a huge step toward ensuring that quality results are published and discussed within and outside the scientific community. Alas, just as with any activity involving human beings, the process has its flaws. As […]

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Scientific Literature – What is it? (Part 1 of 2)

2 November 2016

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste When discussing scientific topics, it is important to go beyond opinions and hearsay if the objective is to learn something valid or reach a sensible conclusion. As such, the source of the elements submitted to the discussion becomes extremely important. For the best and the worst, we live in an era […]

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