GC-MS TEST-Identify Volatile compounds in essential oils

Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) is a method of separating the volatile compounds in essential oils into individual components and identifying each of these components and their percentages. This process is a common test used to identify essential oil adulteration . Through this test process , aduteration in essential oil can be identifed.

The GC-MS is composed of two major building blocks: the gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer. The gas chromatograph utilizes a capillary column which depends on the column’s dimensions (length, diameter, film thickness) as well as the phase properties. The difference in the chemical properties between different molecules in a mixture and their relative affinity for the stationary phase of the column will promote separation of the molecules as the sample travels the length of the column. The molecules are retained by the column and then elute (come off) from the column at different times (called the retention time), and this allows the mass spectrometer downstream to capture, ionize, accelerate, deflect, and detect the ionized molecules separately. The mass spectrometer does this by breaking each molecule into ionized fragments and detecting these fragments using their mass-to-charge ratio.