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ISOThere have been no Standards Australia (SAA) CH21 Meetings this year. However, there has been much action in regard to International (ISO) Standards some of which has considerable implication to Australia.

Tea Tree Oil Standard

The ISO TC54 Essential Oil Committee secretariat has informed both the Ph Eur (European Pharmacopoeia Department) of the Council of Europe based in Strasbourg France and the HMPC (Herbal Medicinal Products Committee) of the European Medicines Agency of the forth-coming revised ISO Standard for tea tree oil. Concern of the confusion shown by regulatory organizations regarding the definition and source species for the essential oil of Melaleuca, terpinen-4-ol type (Tea Tree oil) was expressed. The ISO TC54 Secretariat informed the Ph Eur and the HMPC that the existing ISO 4730:2004 “Oil of Melaleuca, terpinen-4-ol type (Tea Tree oil)” is currently under revision with the aim of clarifying this situation and that the new version of ISO 4730 is expected to be published at the beginning of 2017.

The development of this Revised Standard is a long process now nearing completion. After much preliminary preparation in Australia, the Standard was registered with ISO on 5th June 2015, has passed through the NWIP (New Work Item Proposal), CD (Committee Draft) and DIS (Draft International Standard) stages and is now (as at 23.09.2016) awaiting confirmation by ballot on the FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) before publication.

If approved, this revision incorporates a number of improvements aimed at:

  • defining the source species unambiguously by including M. alternifolia and M. linariifolia only
  • presenting chiral data for terpinen-4-ol to help authenticate unadulterated oils
  • tightening the optical rotation parameters to reflect correct enantiomeric composition
  • tightening some component range parameters to improve plantation, oil and product quality
  • conforming with current ISO Standard conventions.

Once published the Standard will be operational for five years before subject to further review. As SAA has an Australian Standard (AS 2782 2009) based on ISO 4730 consideration should be given to revising AS 2782 to bring it in line with ISO 4730 when the revision is finalised.

Other Standards

Standards advancing in 2016, to their next stage toward publication have been oils of lavandin, thyme, Clementine mandarine, black pepper, citronella (Java type), fennel, bitter fennel, chamomile, orange, cypress, magnolia, oregano, parsley seed and parsley fruits.

The lavandin Standard, Essential oil of lavandin Abrial (Lavandula angustifolia Mill. x Lavandula latifolia Medik.), French type may be of interest as lavandin is produced in Australia. Revision of this Standard, ISO 3054-Oil of lavandin Arial, has reached the DIS Stage.The revised Standard will update optical rotation specifications, chromatographic profile minima and maxima and typical chromatograms. As SAA has an Australian Standard (AS 5030 2002) based on ISO 3054, consideration should be given to revising AS 5030 to bring it in line with ISO 3054.

Any questions regarding these standards can be addressed to Ian Southwell as Chairperson of Standards Australia’s CH21 Essential Oil Committee.

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