64. Is Low-field NMR a Complementary Tool to GC-MS in Quality Control of Essential Oils? A Case Study: Patchouli Essential Oil
In this study, 60 MHz 1H-NMR was compared with GC-MS and refractometry for the detection of adulteration of essential oils, taking patchouli essential oil as a test case. Patchouli essential oil is frequently adulterated, even today. In total, 75 genuine patchouli essential oils, 10 commercial patchouli essential oils, 10 other essential oils, 17 adulterants, and 1 patchouli essential oil, spiked at 20% with those adulterants, were measured. Visual inspection of the NMR spectra allowed for easy detection of 14 adulterants, while gurjun and copaiba balsams proved difficult and one adulterant could not be detected. NMR spectra of 10 random essential oils differed not only strongly from patchouli essential oil but also from one another, suggesting that fingerprinting by low-field NMR is not limited to patchouli essential oil. Due to advantages such as simplicity, rapidity, reproducibility, and ability to detect nonvolatile adulterants, 60 MHz 1H-NMR is complimentary to GC-MS for quality control of essential oils.