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Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry

GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) analyzes an oil by taking a small sample and volatilizing it into a gas using increasing heat so it can move through a special column. This is the Gas Chromatography portion of GC-MS. While moving through the column, the molecules naturally separate based on their weight, polarity, and size. This separation happens as lighter, smaller components travel faster than the heavier, bulkier components through the column. As these components exit the column, they are recorded as peaks on a chromatogram. The sample components then move to the Mass Spectrometer, where they are hit with 70 eV of electrons. These electrons break the sample into fragments and ions, which move through an accelerator. These fragments and ions are then measured and a spectrum is produced.

The resulting graph from this process shows the peaks of each component in their proportionality to the sample. A reference library of components can automatically identify the peaks as each component present.

Most labs run a GC-MS for 20 minutes, however, we have found that such a short run fails to detect all of the heavier components. APRC runs a GC-MS for nearly two hours in order to record all of the components. Once the run is finished, a chemist is able to analyze the resulting graph to determine if an oil meets the standards in its category.

Watch how the GC-MS works on our YouTube channel.




APRC® engages with a diverse group of clients with a variety of backgrounds and needs. We are committed to providing a wide range of aromatic plant product analyses in addition to producing top-notch research and developing new technologies.

We look forward to sharing our groundbreaking discoveries as we progress in our mission to produce uncompromising research, analysis, and testing services to the broader essential oil, extracts, and products produced from aromatic plants from around the world.

© 2021 by Aromatic Plant Research Center

Aromatic Plant Research Center (APRC) is a state-of-the-art laboratory that utilizes a variety of methods to detect adulteration and confirm the purity of natural products. Our executive advisory board is internationally renowned for quality control testing and expertise within the aromatic plant industry.

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Aromatic Plant Research Center

230 N 1200 E. 

Suite 100

Lehi, Utah 84043


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