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What are the various Grades of Essential Oils and Materials?

Why is it important?

To mitigate the risk of unnecessary exposure to harmful substances like heavy metals and byproducts from extraction or synthesis methods, it is advisable to minimize such potential contact.

The terminology for essential oils and chemicals is interrelated because of their use in various domains such as food, cosmetics, agriculture, and medical devices. This overlap highlights the shared applications and importance of essential oils in these industries.

Raw Material Grade

ACS grade

This grade meets or surpasses the purity standards established by the ACS. It is suitable for food, drug, or medicinal purposes, as well as ACS applications or general procedures that necessitate rigorous quality specifications and a purity level of at least 95%.

Reagent grade

Typically equivalent to ACS grade (β‰₯95%), this product is suitable for various applications in food, drug, and medicinal use, as well as in laboratory and analytical settings.

USP grade

Primarily utilized in laboratories, USP is a classification defined by its sufficient purity to meet specific tests as mandated by the US Pharmacopoeia (USP). It is deemed acceptable for certain drug applications, ensuring the required standards are met.

NF grade

Used in the pharmaceutical industry and is similar to USP grade.

Laboratory grade

Not as pure as reagent-grade chemicals (but still relatively pure) and their exact level of impurity is unknown. They’re very popular for educational laboratory purposes but are not suitable for food, drug, or medicinal use.

Purified grade

While not bound by specific standards, the term generally signifies a chemical of superior quality. However, due to the presence of impurities, it is recommended to use them in less critical applications.

Technical/Industrial grade

Although possess good quality, technical and industrial-grade chemicals do contain impurities. These chemicals find their primary application in commercial and industrial sectors when used in large quantities.

Food grade

Food-grade chemicals are those that are deemed safe for human consumption and play a crucial role in food processing and packaging. These chemicals must adhere to stringent purity standards as mandated by regulatory agencies like the FDA.

Perfume grade

Refers to chemicals that are used in the production of perfumes and fragrances. These chemicals must meet specific purity standards and are often tested for their olfactory properties.

Animal feed grade

Refers to chemicals that are used in animal feed and supplements. These chemicals must meet specific purity standards and are not intended for human consumption.

What Grades Should We Purchase? for Essential Oils?

Given the opportunity, it is advisable to opt for the highest grade available, as it guarantees utmost purity with a minimum of food or USP grade where applicable and available. These grades would also be applicable for external and perfume applications as well.

There may be instances when food-grade options are unavailable, as certain items are not intended for consumption. In such cases, opting for perfume-grade alternatives would suffice.

High grades such as Food and USP grade are generally the purest and most potent form of a chemical available, which ensures that they will have the desired effect in any situation. In addition to being more powerful, they often have fewer impurities than lower-quality grades of chemicals, making them safer to use.

For this reason, it is important to always buy high-grade materials when possible. Additionally, buying higher-grade chemicals can save money in the long run since fewer products are needed to achieve the same result as with lower-quality grade materials.

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