The distillation of essential oils

The quality of essential oils, guaranteeing their effectiveness

The undeniable quality of the products constitutes one of the primordial values ​​of the Pranarōm laboratory. This is one of the main motivations cited by our customers and employees.

In aromatherapy, the quality of products is inseparable from their effectiveness.

Even if the democratization of the use of Essential Oils is good news for natural health, this craze also leads to the multiplication of products available on the market, and with it, the risk for the consumer of coming across fraudulent oils. “There is essential oil and essential oil where the best rubs shoulders with the worst (…) A true lavender altered by adding a lavandin, a ravintsara by adding a niaouli, synthetic and unnatural Damascus rose or even a orange essence filled with heavy metal salts…”, laments Dominique Baudoux, founder of Pranarōm. So many harmful and risky practices.

In this context, how does Pranarōm guarantee the quality of its products?

The Pranarōm laboratory has always been uncompromising on the quality of its essential oils. Dominique Baudoux is formal: “I don't compromise on quality, because it brings efficiency. I have always had the desire to personally formulate products that are real remedies to ensure healing”. This quest intrinsic to the profession of pharmacist is based on meticulous and rigorous work. And we can prove it.

Quality, at every stage, or nothing. This is the watchword of our team of scientific experts. The best copies of chemical synthesis can never compete in efficacy and harmlessness with an essential oil that Nature has produced to perfection.

—Dominique Baudoux

Pranarôm is:

  • 540 tonnes of raw materials harvested in 2022;
  • Up to 250 molecules identified and quantified in a chemotyped Essential Oil;
  • 1,500 analyzes carried out each year on products;
  • 250 different Essential Oils at Pranarōm, the widest range in the world.

Thus , each batch produced by Pranar ō m must meet strict criteria:

Pranar ō m essential oils are:

  • Chemotyped (HECT): their biochemical and aromatic characteristics are precisely identified;
  • 100% natural: no synthetic molecules, no chemical emulsifiers, no solvents and no mineral oils are added to them;
  • 100% pure: they are not mixed with other similar Essential Oils, Vegetable Oils or alcohol;
  • 100% integral: all the active molecules of the plant are extracted, thanks to the complete distillation until the end of the process;
  • They come from a certified organic harvest and sustainable agriculture in the majority of cases.

Rigorously selected raw materials from loyal partners

Meticulous in the selection of its raw materials Pranarōm has developed long-term partnerships, some for more than 20 years , with its suppliers. To guarantee this excellence, Pranarōm assesses and supports all of its partners every year, including in the field alongside producers.

“Environmental and societal criteria are at the heart of our DNA, aspects such as fair trade certification (Fair for Life), respect for production cycles (Demeter), gender equality are taken into account during sourcing” , adds Eric de Lorbeau.

A permanent, rigorous and scientific control of the production

Pranarōm is the only laboratory that tests each batch of essential oil at least twice before bottling:

Before any purchase, we ensure the quality of the raw material by an initial laboratory analysis. A second follows upon receipt of the goods. Regarding the essential oil synergies, we carry out a final check of the composition to ensure that the mixture is in accordance with the proportions of the recipe.
This guarantee of the quality of our raw materials is only permitted by a controlled analytical process. Using high-performance techniques, the composition of our materials is identified and quantified. The essential oil is then validated only if it follows the criteria of the pharmacopoeia. The aromatogram measures the antibacterial power of the essential oil. These data are accessible to health professionals.
Other additional analyzes are carried out to ensure the absence of more than 250 pesticide residues, synthetic molecules in order to guarantee the naturalness and origin of our raw materials.

What is a chemotyped essential oil?

The chemotype is assimilated as being an identity card of each essential oil. It delivers all the biochemical and aromatic characteristics of the product, which can vary according to the place of cultivation, the amount of sunshine, or even the stage of development of the plant when it is picked. Pranar ō m's HECT-labeled essential oils are the guarantee of having a product that is precisely identified botanically and chemically. What is written corresponds exactly to what is in the bottle.

From the plant to the bottle: controlling the quality of an Essential Oil

Many Essential Oils sold as 100% pure and natural are often cut, lengthened, diluted and denatured with vegetable or mineral oils, low cost synthetic molecules, chemical emulsifying agents, turpentine, alcohol. These profound alterations are likely to make essential oils allergenic, toxic and ineffective.

They can also be mixed with other similar Essential Oils (eg: super lavandin, less expensive, included in fine lavender). Some are discolored or artificially recolored. Still others are amputated of certain molecules.

The only way to provide essential oils of impeccable quality is to control their quality in the laboratory.

A quality Essential Oil is:

  • HECT chemotyped. That is to say that the biochemical and aromatic characteristics of the Essential Oil are identified and quantified to guarantee the effectiveness of the Essential Oil;
  • 100% natural : that is to say not denatured with synthetic molecules, chemical emulsifying agents or mineral oils;
  • 100% pure : i.e. free from other related essential oils, vegetable oils, alcohol, turpentine, etc.
  • 100% integral : all active molecules have been extracted through a complete distillation process.

Each production step is important

The selection of the plant variety, the method of cultivation, harvesting and the distillation process are all criteria that will determine the quality of the final product.

Before it is bottled, systematic tests of each batch of essential oils will ensure 100% pure, 100% natural and 100% integral quality.

The Pranarōm laboratory ensures:

  • A selection of botanically certified plants;
  • Long-term partnerships with farmers and distillers;
  • Short channels for better traceability.

Control methods

Gas phase chromatography is carried out using a sophisticated device which makes it possible to identify the aromatic molecules present in an essential oil (up to 450 aromatic molecules). The graph provided by the chromatograph has a series of peaks. Each peak represents a very specific aromatic molecule which is identified by software.

The spectrometer
The mass spectrometer determines the relative proportion of each of the aromatic molecules of an essential oil (quantitative composition).

The aromatogram
The aromatogram is an in vitro method of measuring the antibacterial power of essential oils. The technique is identical to that used to measure the bactericidal activity of antibiotics.

How to read the label of an Essential Oil bottle?

The guarantee of a quality essential oil is also reflected on the packaging. The information that appears there must be complete and rigorous.

  • Volume ;
  • Batch number for perfect traceability from the plant in the ground to the consumer;
  • Use-by date: use preferably before the date noted on the label;
  • Trademark name and address.
Quality: important information on the packaging
  1. Nature of the product : Essential Oil;
  2. BIO means “from organic farming” (Certisys-BE-01 control);
  3. Latin name : scientific botanical name and, if applicable, the chemotype (CT);
  4. Common name ;
  5. Distilled organ.

Certification labels

Ecogarantie: Ingredient from organic farming (Certisys BE-BIO-01 control) - ECOGARANTIE® product certified in accordance with ECOGARANTIE specifications (CERTISYS control)

Organic farming: ingredient from organic farming (Certisys control BE-BIO-01) - ORGANIC means: from organic farming (Certisys control BE-BIO-01).