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More than Analyses, Advice.Plus que des analyses, des conseils.

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Oil Profiles: Dill

17 May 2018

Sarah-Eve Tremblay, M. Sc. A., chimiste This week, we would like to talk about a very aromatic plant with a characteristic smell: dill (Anethum graveolens). This fragrant plant resembles the fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and both plants present a strong scent. The two species are part of the Apiaceae family. Dill can reach a height of

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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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Popularization

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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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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Popularization

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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Popularization

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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Popularization

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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