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The Standard (ISO 4730) used for 100% pure Australian TTO has been revised. More information is available on the ATTIA website at http://www.teatree.org.au/standards.php.
A copy of this Standard (ISO 4730: 2017) can be purchased HERE for approx AU$ 75.00 (58 Swill Francs) and is available for downloading immediately.
Due to the proven effectiveness of 100% pure Australian TTO, a market has developed for either adulterated oil consisting of Australian (or other) TTO diluted with synthetic components (usually created from other plant based compounds such as sabinene from pine oil) or using waste products derived from naturalizing other essential oils such as Pine, Eucalyptus and White Camphor oils. This is described by some as “Nature Identical” TTO. Manufacturers of these adulterated or synthesized oils carefully balance the mix of components they use to ensure that all of the physical properties of their oil conform to the international standard, including the optical rotation of the product. This has made detection of these adulterated products difficult.
These adulterated or synthetic products masquerade as TTO and have no scientific evidence to support their safety and effectiveness. Furthermore, they are not supported by the thousands of years of use by the Australian Aboriginal indigenous population.
Synthetically produced oils may be placing consumers at risk. At the very least, it may turn many consumers away from using tea tree oil entirely. The fraudulent use of adulterated and “nature identical” oil is unethical and potentially deprives users of the right to use an essential oil proven to work safely and effectively. Growers are disadvantaged by the practice as the cost of bringing these adulterated or synthetic products to market is significantly less than the cost an Australian farmer can sustainably produce genuine 100% pure Australian TTO.
The new Standard ISO 4730: 2017 addresses this issue by specifying the Enantiomeric Distribution for TTO:
The enantiomeric distribution for terpinen-4-ol is (R)(+) 67 % - 71 % and (S)(-) 29 % - 33 %.
Some essential oil components can exist in two enantiomeric forms designated as (R) or (S), D or L or (+) or (-) isomers. Many enantiomers have distinctly different properties and hence their presence in the right form is critical. Also, pure natural essential oils contain enantiomers in characteristic ratios. This ratio is upset by the addition of adulterants including synthetic major components of different enantiomeric ratios.
Consequently, the measurement of enantiomeric excess or enantiomeric ratio as per ISO 22972 in an informative annex of appropriate isolates in International Standards, provides an extra measure of essential oil authenticity.