Essential Oil Chemistry, Santalum|

Sandalwood oils are highly desired but expensive, and hence many counterfeit oils are sold in high street shops. The study aimed to determine the content of oils sold under the name sandalwood oil and then compare their chromatographic profile and α- and β santalol content with the requirements of ISO 3518:2002. Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry analysis found that none of the six tested “sandalwood” oils met the ISO standard, especially in terms of α-santalol content. Only one sample was found to contain both α- and β-santalol, characteristic of Santalum album. In three samples, valerianol, elemol, eudesmol isomers, and caryophyllene dominated, indicating the presence of Amyris balsamifera oil. Another two oil samples were found to be synthetic mixtures: benzyl benzoate predominating in one, and synthetic alcohols, such as javanol, polysantol and ebanol, in the other. The product label only gave correct information in three cases: one sample containing Santalum album oil and two samples containing Amyris balsamifera oil. The synthetic samples described as 100% natural essential oil from sandalwood are particularly dangerous and misleading to the consumer. Moreover, the toxicological properties of javanol, polysantol and ebanol, for example, are unknown.

https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082249

Kucharska, M., et al. (2021). “A Comparison of the Composition of Selected Commercial Sandalwood Oils with the International Standard.” Molecules 26(8): 2249.

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