One of the best things Dr. Michael Mike Buch did for the essential oil world was to normalise speaking about the scientific testing of essential oils. He kind of made words like Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) sexy.
Dr. Michael Buch made Science fun for many of us at Young Living. He was Young Living’s former Chief Science Officer and former Director of D. Gary Young Research Institute.
He helped elevate the testing labs (with even more amazing equipment) to an unparalleled level – a level which rivals any testing labs for any industry!
He also helped get our Young Living Essential Oils into space with NASA!
What tests are carried out on Young Living Essential Oils?
Young Living conducts rigorous testing on each batch of their essential oils by internal labs and third-party facilities.
Science is a cornerstone of Young Living. Their trained scientific staff employ cutting-edge methods to develop new products, as well as to help ensure the quality of all of their products. Both our D. Gary Young Research Institute and Quality team, work in state-of-the-art labs with some of the most advanced scientific equipment available.
I have been to the testing labs in Spanish Fork, plus I’ve seen the testing that is done on the two Idaho farms, the Mona farm and the farm in Croatia so I know this is true. If Young Living were selling snake oil why would they invest so much money in testing it and not just once, 90 times. That’s 90 tests that are conducted on each batch.
Testing of Essential Oils
The test undertaken by Young Living include:
- Viscometry- shows how viscous a liquid is (think vetiver versus lavender)
- Densitometry- picks up water from distillation
- Refractometry- measures how much light is bent (Refractive Index)
- Polarimetry (Optical Rotation) – sends a beam of polarised light through oil to see the rotation
- ICP- MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma mass spectrometry)- measures metal in oils
- ICP- OES (Inductively couples plasma atomic optical emission spectrometry)- also measures metal
- Gas Chromatograph- pulls apart into all compounds present and uses high heat
- HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatograph- similar to GC but uses a high pressure liquid
- FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy)- Measures chemical bonds between compounds
- Automated Micro-enumeration- Counts bacteria in a sample
- Disintegration Testing- measures how quickly a tablet disintegrates
- PH – measures how acidic/basic a product is
- Flashpoint-point at which it ignites
- Microscopy- looking at compound thru the microscope to identify
- Combustibility-measures how easily a substance will set on fire, through fire or combustion
- Specific Gravity – ratio of density compared to water
- Organoleptic Testing – assessment of flavour, odour, appearance and feel
According to Mike Buch, these are all the normal tests that Young Living used to run on all essential oils and products. The new test they added were Chiral Chromatography. This test separates optical isomers and determines organic compounds from inorganic compounds.
The other test they introduced was the IRMS (Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry). Young Living have 2 of these machines and it takes 2 years of intense training to be able to use them. This test measures all oils to make sure they have the same ratio as the atmosphere.
A lot of these tests are done three times on each batch. If the batch makes it through all the tests, once it goes to bottling, it is tested again, all tests in triplicate. It takes 20 people just over a week to test each batch. Yes, I would say that is thorough testing of essential oils!
Product testing doesn’t take place exclusively within the two in-house labs. Young Living also works with more than a dozen of the world’s leading, independent, and accredited labs with highly skilled and trained scientists who specialise in advanced product testing. This is part of Young Living’s Seed to Seal process.
Watch the video to learn more about the testing of essential oils that Young Living does.
All this is just another reason why I believe Young Living has the best essential oils on the planet. You can read more about why here in my blog post on the best brand of essential oils.