For many years, the Essential Oil Association of the U.S.A. (EOA), through its Scientific Committee, has advised those responsible for the publication of The United States Pharmacopoeia and The National Formulary regarding the suitability of specifications included in their monographs for essential oils and related materials. However, only a limited number of these materials are used in pharmaceutical practice to a sufficient extent to justify inclusion in these official compendia. Therefore, in 1946 the Scientific Committee began the compilation of a set of monographs embodying the EOA standards for essential oils, aromatic chemicals and isolates, and related flavor and perfume materials. Approximately 300 of these have now been completed. They have been prepared by the scientific representative of the member companies, based on the analyticaI data and experience of their laboratories. They are intended to define realistically standard good quality material currently avaiIable commercially, and should provide fair standards for the evaluation of these materials in commercial transactions. The Scientific Committee recognizes that there may well be grades of these materials which do not conform to these standards, which may meet the special requirements of a given user. Under these circumstances, the specifications can be established by agreement between buyer and seller.
With the advent of the newer instrumental methods of analysis, an Instrumental Analysis Subcommittee was formed, composed of representatives of the member companies who had become expert in these techniques. This Subcommittee has prepared detailed procedures for infrared and ultraviolet spectroscopic anaIysis, and 19 procedures for gas chromatographic determinations of the components of essential oils and aromatic chemicals. 133 infrared spectra have been prepared for aromatic chemicals and a limited number of essential oils. These are intended for identification purposes, and should not be taken as standards of purity. Specifications for certain components based on gas chromatographic analysis have been included in a limited number of monographs. It is anticipated that the number of such specifications will increase as the laboratories in the industries accumulate sufficient data.