Adulteration is a major issue in the essential oil industry. It can occur at any level of the supply chain and in any quantity.
The most common adulteration of sweet basil is the addition of natural compounds found in the oil. This can be added to sweet basil oil to reach ISO standards or increase the amount of oil to be sold. Linalool, for instance, is present as 40-65% in sweet basil oil. If an oil is distilled with 40%, linalool from ho wood or ho leaf can be added to increase the percentage and increase the volume of oil for distribution. Eugenol (3-10%) can be added from holy basil, clove leaf or stem, or cinnamon leaf. 1,8 cineole can be fractionated from eucalyptus oil and added as well.
Carrier oils, or non-volatile oils, are often added at larger volumes to basil oil. This dilution of the pure oil can create larger quantities to be sold. DPG (dipropylene glycol), DEP (diethyl phthalate), or IOP (Isoctyl phthalate) are often used for this purpose.
In very tiny amounts, synthetic fragrances can also be used to adulterate essential oils. Laboratories who only run 30-60 minute tests on a GC-MS are unable to detect these adulterations. APRC specializes in detecting these smaller additions with longer tests and well-trained analytical chemists.