GCMS Testing

Discussion in 'Art and Science of Oud' started by Habz786, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Just noticed this,
    there are definitely double standards applied across the oud market.
    That being said, I'm not a fan of the big Arabian houses' model.
  2. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    I have transcribed the images of Kyarazen's analysis.
    I thought I'd post it here for anybody interested in a more workable format,
    and save them the cumbersome task of transcribing from an image.
    I've omitted the grey blocking, and I've additionally highlighted in red the 'unidentified' compounds aside from the 5 compounds Kyarazen marked.

    peter4ptv and Rai Munir like this.
  3. Rai Munir

    Rai Munir Musk Man

    Thank you very much.

    It seems inevitable to acquire Kz 85.
    powdernose likes this.
  4. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Thank you again for providing your own analysis on the results.
    I've been reading through your analysis of the GCMS, cross-checking the studies, and I have to say that doing so has only generated more questions for me.
    In short, I still maintain my belief that 1985 is adulterated. I think there are too many question marks to reconcile and cross-contamination doesn’t explain enough of them away for me.
    I’ll go through each doubt, point by point, below.
    But first, I wanted to ask a couple of questions.

    Do you now believe 1985 is an agarwood extract? What kind exactly?
    I ask because people keep implying it is. What I remember regarding this, is your own position in the following two quotes:
    From the original Kyarazen article:
    "Pointing at the bottle, Mr Lee said, it was from 100kg of wood, distilled in 1985, a theoretical yield of at best under 1%."
    And on Basenotes in 2013:
    ''it is definitely not solvent extracted as the solvent extraction process would generally give a hard brittle blob from high quality wood.''
    Has your thinking or information changed?

    Regarding the question of 1985’s purity, what would it take for you to personally have suspicions?

    Why don't you run a GC test of 1985 yourself? I believe you have the access and opportunity.

    In any case, listed are my doubts regarding KZ85's purity:

    1. The tester says the TIC number was very low, and that indicates that it has been cut with non-volatiles. What do you make of the very low TIC number? I don't believe you expounded on that.
    Are phthalates the only way of cutting an oil?
    The percentages are of the distribution of the volatiles, not of their total content within the sample. The point is, that non-volatiles won’t elute. I realise there is no definitive answer regarding any actual dilution level, that would require chemometric testing which hasn't been done. But in the absence of a concrete chemometric value, I can only rely on the tester’s evaluation.

    2. Regarding the reference you mentioned for Valerenal:
    There is no Valerenal detected in the study you linked to. Personally I’ve never come across any mention of valerenal in Aquilaria, let alone at such a high percentage of the total volatiles. If you manage to find valerenal in Aquilaria, please link to it.

    3. You mention that you only found 5 unknown components in the results:
    Personally I think 5 components is a significant number,
    and in truth there are other unidentified components which you marked with grey. When I transcribed your analysis I marked them in red too, as in fairness they are hardly identified components.
    Beyond the number of unknowns though, it is also a matter of their type. Besides obviously being atypical to agarwood, some of these compounds, to me, shouldn’t be in the sample, even if we accept unintentional cross-contamination.

    4. Regarding the nitroquinoline compound:
    The compound is found in a methanol extract of Moringa oleifera roots from Nigeria. The peak is at a low 0.4%, and the peak is mixed, i.e shared by another 2 compounds.
    Beside this citation, I've only found the nitroquinoline compound being sold by chemical companies. It seems more likely cross-contamination happened in the Moringa sample, or that it was from the (treated?) Nigerian soil, I still think it highly unlikely it is a plant derived compound.
    I’m finding it hard to construct a scenario in which this ended up in a wild oud oil in such a high percentage by unintentional cross-contamination at a herbal extraction facility.

    5. Regarding the aminoquinoline compound:
    The only 8-aminoquinoline listed in that study is primaquine, which is not a plant compound.
    In fact, only quinine is plant derived, all the other compounds listed are synthetic analogues.
    Again, I don’t understand how cross-contamination could have happened.

    6. Regarding Carissone:
    There is no Carissone (11-hydroxy-eudesma-4-en-3-one) listed in the study,
    the closest eudesmane sesquiterpene is 9-hydroxy-eudesma-3,11(13)-diene-12-methyl ester
    which was found as a secondary metabolite in Sinensis that had gone through artificial holing.
    Carissone is typically found as a secondary metabolite in Carissa edulis.

    7.Regarding Cryptomeridiol:
    The cited research does not say cryptomeridiol is a component of agarwood. Cryptomeridiol here is found in Amanoa oblongifolia, not in agarwood.

    8. Regarding Chenopodiol:
    Chenopidiol was present as a constituent of essential oil from moderately infected Agarwood (Malaccensis), but not present in the highly infected sample.

    9. Regarding Guaiol acetate:
    Guaiol acetate was found in the extract from eaglewood offcuts vs the oud oil. Again, not high quality wood.

    10. Aristolene:
    From: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep44406#f3
    "agarwood sesquiterpenes (e.g. γ-eudesmol, agarospirol, aristolene) were formed only during fermentation of the resinous agarwood chips with Fusarium"
    From: The volatile and semi-volatile constituents of agarwood, the infected heartwood of Aquilaria species: A review.
    Aristolene is found in crassna 9yr plantation trees from Trat.
    Not that it relates to purity, but it catches my interest and the thinking I have is, that aristolene comes from fungal infection, that wild high quality agarwood should have the effect of infection from the natural strain but not ever in a high percentage. The high percentage of aristolene, plus the general makeup of the 1985 oil make it suspect to me. Also, the presence of the sterols in the final oil I believe to be atypical of a natural wild wood. More likely the high percentage of sterols is due to the tree being in continual shock due to inducement.

    11. You realise, of course, you are citing research results from Crassna, Agallocha, Sinensis, Malaccensis, and Gyrinops walla?
    Citing results from methanol extraction, to headspace analysis, to microwave additional extraction?
    Sourced from healthy wood, to offcuts, to artificially innoculated oud?
    Where is the common thread?

    Points 8-10, relate more to my own interest in the actual quality of the feedstock, but still, they do speak to the congruency of 1985’s story.
    It is always possible to explain away a couple of doubtful points, but at what point do the doubts accumulate to the point that no explanation will do? It appears people were more focused on the labdanum aspect, and once the GC result confirmed the fact that it was not a labdanum adulterated/centered oil, all questions ceased. But in truth, questions remain, and I find it very hard to align all the data into a single congruent story. Personally, I think the data speaks volumes, and the conclusion is that 1985 is adulterated. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ hardly matter.
    At this point, the only thing that could change my mind, would be a definitive (expensive) chemometric analysis of 1985, one that would disprove (doubtful) the findings of original report.

    For anyone who cares to know, the solvent used was dichloromethane.

    I couldn’t agree more.
    I’ve kept to technical issues and that is all I’m interested in discussing.
    I trust and respect Kyarazen, and can extend the same to Mr. Lee.
    But that doesn’t mean I have to accept 1985 as pure.
    In the case of purity, the problem (if you believe in one) would probably go back to the production site.
    In any case, one must accept that we will never know the full story about KZ1985.
    Arsalan, Rai Munir and peter4ptv like this.
  5. peter4ptv

    peter4ptv Member

    Great analyses, thanks for spending the time, it makes things a lot more clear now.
    powdernose likes this.
  6. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    As it has been mentioned that the forum could use being reanimated with meaningful and fruitful discussions,
    I think starting to randomly GCMS a couple of oud oils would help in meaningful advancements in oud knowledge and information.
    If any of the vendors out there is willing to start rolling the ball by running a test of the odd oil in 2019, that would be great.
    Otherwise if there are non-vendors out there willing to lay some cash down and create an oud community coalition/club that would help start working in that direction,
    please speak up.
    Ouddict and F4R1d0uX like this.
  7. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

    I hope someone can respond and take this up. I can give you the www.artisanaloudguild.org domain if you want and you can do it under that banner if you want. Entirely up to you.
    Elixir Attar likes this.
  8. Martin

    Martin Oud Novice

    Does anyone know what the range of cost for GCMC from a reliable lab and minimum amout of oil needed?
  9. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    Enough to run the test which is not much but is more about being able to transfer enough into the recipient vial without trouble. If you deliver in the correct glassware insert 0.2ml would be fine.
    Martin likes this.
  10. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

    I hope so too.
    If it gets that far, it will be good to consider the domain
  11. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

    That’s only for a graph. To interpret that graph against established baseline signatures (if they exist) costs a lot more and this is the only “issue” I see with this exercise. Namely that there will be some ambiguity due to differing interpretations. However, I think the exercise is well worth doing and if it’s successful and well-established, we may in fact ended up with the largest Agarwood signature reference library in the world. Definitely a great project.
    Martin likes this.

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