There are a number of essential oil brands and suppliers which have emerged in recent years. Still, when it comes the quality and purity of essential oils, it’s not easy to determine as essential oils are complex mixtures of many different chemical constituents, and their characteristics can be affected by a number of certain conditions such as cultivation and harvesting conditions, extraction method, handling and storage conditions and many more.
There are certain method that help determine the quality and purity of essential oils and optical rotation is one of them.
What is Optical Rotation in Essential Oil?
In Simple terms, “Optical rotation or optical activity is the rotation of the orientation of the plane of polarization about the optical axis of linearly polarized light as it travels through certain materials. “
The optical rotation of essential oils is a quickly measured, easily generated polarimetric quality parameter which helps analyzing the purity of essential oils. The optical rotation can also help in differentiating between the types of essential oils. Sometimes, it can also be referred as Rotary Polarization.
How Optical Rotation of an Essential Oil is Determined?
When dealing with solid oils, partially solid oils, oils that are highly viscous at room temperature, or highly coloured oils, the optical rotation determination is carried out on a solution of the oil.
Important Points Related to Optical Rotation Measure for Essential Oils
The technique is very dependent on the interaction of light with a clean sample. You need to make sure that cell is clean. If there is any particulate matter or cloudiness to the solution, it needs to be filtered before the test. Ensure that no air bubbles have formed as air bubbles are likely to interfere with the analysis.