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Rosa, Rosam, Rosae

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The Chemistree History

Essential Oil Card

Oil profiles: Ginger

7 December 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph. D., Alexis St-Gelais, Chemist Some aromatic plants are particularly associated with Christmas time. This week, we would like to talk about one of them which is used in mulled wine, in candied form and which even has given its name to a spiced bread we specially cook for Christmas: ginger (Zingiber officinale).

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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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Plant card

Orange blossom water

29 August 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph. D. If you have the chance to visit Morocco or Tunisia during spring, get away from urban centers and follow your nose, it will probably lead you near one of the many plantations of bigarade orange or bitter orange spread in all Maghreb. From march to april, these little trees dress up

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Activities and Events

Caution, Hot Subject!

11 July 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph. D. Laboratoire Phytochemia is proud to be a sponsor of the hot sauce festival ”Saguenay en Feu” that will take place in Chicoutimi on May 25-26! A good occasion for us to talk a bit about the chemistry of Chili pepper and by extension of some molecules that confuse our senses. It

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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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Plant card

Oil Profiles: Mandarin (Expressed)

20 June 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste Mandarin fruit (Citrus nobilis) essential oil is an aromatic delicacy. By experience, we observe that it regularly is either adulterated or confused with other citruses. Chemically, there are a few good keypoints to look for that will tell if a mandarin oil is genuine. We also provide an annotated typical

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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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Research notes

How Much Agarwood in your Agarwood?

5 June 2017

Hubert Marceau, Chimiste, B. Sc. Agarwood is an oil with a very specific odor profile. Almost no two oils will have the same exact smell: sometimes it is leathery, other time smoky, some even have fruity notes and other lots can smell a bit cheesy. The reason for that come from how it is produced. Agarwood is

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Essential Oil Card

Essential Oil Card – Bergamot

30 May 2017

Bergamot oil is cold pressed from peels of Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia fruits. Main compounds found in bergamot are limonene, linalool and linalyl acetate. Common adulteration of this oil is made by adding synthetic linalool and/or synthetic linalyl acetate. This can be easily detected with GC-MS analysis. Cold pressed bergamot oil is known to be

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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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