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01 Jan 2020 - Biosecurity Plan for the Tea Tree Industry

A Biosecurity Plan for the Tea Tree Industry has been prepared and released by Plant Health Australia. More »»

01 Nov 2019 - Essential Oils of the Pacific: Australian Tea Tree

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07 Aug 2019 - PHA director positions

Every two years, four of the eight non-executive director positions on the Plant Health Australia (PHA Board) are up for re-election. PHA commenced the advertising for upcoming PHA director positions and they have asked ATTIA, as PHA Members, to promote the advertisement. More »»

ISO4730: 2017 and AS 2782: 2017 Standards

The chemical composition of tea tree oil is defined by international standard ISO 4730: 2017 and the identical Australian standard AS 2782-2017 Essential oil of Melaleuca, terpinen-4-ol type (Tea Tree oil) which specifies levels of 15 of the more than 113 components found in pure Australian tea tree oil as well as a number of physical parameters.

Any batch of oil sold by an ATTIA member must be accompanied by an independently tested certificate of analysis demonstrating conformance to these Standards. ATTIA also recommends that the country of origin is clearly declared when purchasing tea tree oil from any supplier.

A summary of the standard:

ISO 4730: 2017 Essential oil of Melaleuca, terpinen-4-ol type (Tea Tree oil)

Essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and terminal branchlets of Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden et Betche) Cheel or of M. linariifolia Sm.

ISO 4730: 2017 also specified 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.

Characteristics              Requirements                                     Method
Appearance Clear, mobile liquid       -
Colour Colourless to pale yellow       -
Odour Characteristic       -
Relative density (20° C) Min: 0.885 Max: 0.906 ISO 279
Refractive index (20° C) Min: 1.475 Max: 1.482 ISO 280
Optical rotation (20° C) between + 7° and + 12°          ISO 592
Miscibility in ethanol (volume fraction)at 20° C It shall not be necessary to use more than 2 volumes of ethanol, 85 % (volume fraction), to obtain a clear solution with 1 volume of essential oil
(closed cup)
mean value +59° ISO/TR 11018
Min volume of test sample 50 ml ISO 201


Chromatographic profile:
Component   Min %  Max %
α-Pinene    1.00 4.00
Sabinene    traces 3.50  
α-Terpinene   6.00
Limonene   0.50 1.50  
p-Cymene   0.50 8.00  
1,8-Cineole   traces 10.00  
γ-Terpinene   14.00 28.00  
Terpinolene   1.50 5.00  
Terpinen-4-ol   35.00 48.00  
α-Terpineol   2.00
Aromadendrene    0.20 3.00  
Ledene (syn. viridiflorene)    0.10 3.00  
δ-Cadinene   0.20 3.00  
Globulol    traces 1.00  
Viridiflorol    traces 1.00  

Traces: <0.01%

A full copy of this standard is available for purchase HERE


Page last updated: 13 Feb 2017