The term “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®” sounds technical, official, and impressive; and it is. Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own, the most stringent in the industry, to certify that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. doTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. Utilizing its own facilities, as well as trusted third-party labs, each batch of doTERRA essential oils goes through the extensive three-step CPTG process before it is made available for sale to ensure that the product you receive is of the highest quality, every time.
Step 1: Chemistry
Chemistry is the foundation of pure, quality essential oils. After the aromatic compounds are distilled from the plant material, it is confirmed that each batch meets the chemical composition standards using a combination instrument known as a GC/MS, or “Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy”, to guarantee that the chemistry of the oil matches the expected profile. The gas chromatography instrument separates the molecules in the oil based on chemistry, and the mass spectrometer identifies each group of molecules.
After GC/MS testing, the ratios between each chemical constituent are analyzed so that our essential oil experts can verify that each oil is in its most pure, natural form. Once a batch is determined to meet our chemical profile guidelines, it can then move on to the next stage of testing.
Step 2: Physical Testing
Following chemical testing, each batch of essential oils goes through a battery of physical tests: organoleptic assessments, Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy (FTIR), optical rotation, specific gravity, and refractive index. In reference to essential oils, organoleptics are those attributes that can be tested through sight and smell. In this phase, our team of essential oils chemists, manufacturing engineers, and quality technicians manually assess the appearance, aroma, and color of each essential oil. Each batch is then put through FTIR testing, which uses infra-red light to analyze the material composition of an oil to determine if it meets doTERRA established standards. Optical rotation then tests for chirality, using instrumentation to twist essential oil molecules in order to identify synthetic additives that GC/MS testing would not detect. Next, the specific gravity of each batch is tested; the volume-to-weight ratio is compared to reference standards to verify oil quality and purity. Lastly, a refractometer is used to determine if the essential oils refractive index, a measurement of how light propagates through a specific substance, meets doTERRA established standards.
Step 3: Contamination Testing
Batches that make it through the physical testing are then run through a series of contamination tests to confirm that there are no harmful contaminants. We test for potentially harmful microorganisms, heavy metals, and pesticides to certify that use is safe for your entire family when proper usage guidelines are followed. Our CPTG quality testing process does not stop here. We continue on with a fourth step of testing to ensure these essential oils remain pure for the entire shelf life of the product.
Step 4: On-Going Stability Testing
The final phase of testing verifies that CPTG oils will maintain their purity and efficacy for as long as you intend to use them. Stability testing is ongoing and involves not only examining the integrity of the essential oils, but of their packaging as well. In the first series of tests, utilizing chambers that can alter temperature and humidity, we analyze what happens to the essential oils when exposed to different atmospheric conditions in both accelerated and long-term studies for extended periods of time. This testing protocol ensures that doTERRA CPTG essential oils will continue to provide safe and effective benefits years after they have been manufactured.
With no official controlling entity, doTERRA has confirmed its dedication to honesty by developing an industry-first testing protocol which verifies that each bottle’s contents actually match the purity and quality claims made on the label. With doTERRA CPTG essential oils, you can be certain that every product is safe and effective, and will be for the entirety of its shelf-life.