In this research, we will introduce to readers a study on the topic of how to determine the quality of agarwood. Research from the authors Nurlaila Ismail, Universiti Teknologi MARA | UiTM · Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of agarwood and its quality assessment, with a primary focus on Aquilaria Malaccensis. The predominant species found in Malaysia and Vietnam. Agarwood exhibits varying levels of quality, much like its essential oil counterpart, resulting in differing market prices. The differentiation in quality is attributed to distinct chemical compositions within agarwood, influencing its overall quality. Traditionally, grading has relied on sensory attributes like scent and color, but this approach has limitations due to subjectivity, lack of reproducibility, time constraints, and substantial labor costs.


Hence, there is a growing need to develop a grading system for agarwood and its oil based on their chemical profiles. This emerging interest has captured the attention of researchers, primarily aimed at ensuring the consistent quality of agarwood oil products.

1. Introduction research

Agarwood oil, derived from agarwood trees, originates in the resin-rich heartwood of Aquilaria species, a genus in the Thymelaeaceae family. This unique oil enjoys significant demand for its diverse applications. Including use in religious ceremonies such as incense, perfumery, and traditional medicine. Notably, in the Middle East, agarwood oil symbolizes wealth and features prominently in wedding ceremonies.

Agarwood oil trade hinges on quality, with high-quality variants commanding premium prices and lower-quality ones being more affordable. Classification often considers physical attributes, especially color and aroma. Typically, oils with dark hues and long-lasting scents are considered high quality and fetch premium prices. Ranging from USD 126 to USD 633 per tola (12 ml).

Wood prices follow a similar pattern, with lower-quality woods priced at around USD 19 per kg and superior-quality agarwood reaching astounding prices of up to USD 100,000 per kg. Extensive research has assessed agarwood oil quality, resulting in classifications like Kanankoh as the highest quality and Jinkoh as lower quality, particularly by Japanese researchers.

2. Agarwood Oil research

Agarwood, also known as eaglewood, oudh, oud, kanankoh, kyara, jinkoh, and kalambak, constitutes the resinous portion of wood derived from the Aquilaria genus, taxonomically linked to the Thymelaeaceae family. Within the ASEAN region, it has been reported that there are nineteen Aquilaria species. Agarwood serves various purposes, including trunk, branch, chip, flake, uniform-quality powder, and essential oil production.

3. Agarwood Oil Analysis Technique

Oud Factory Gallery 18

4. Conclusion research

From the above review, we can see that agarwood oil is an important commodity and its trade depends greatly on its quality and/or class. Currently, the classification of agarwood oil is done manually based on its appearance; color, and smell. However, there are studies that mention that the chemical compounds of agarwood oil can be used to determine the quality of agarwood oil, as they found that agarwood oil is made up of a complex mixture of impurities of sesquiterpenes, oxidized sesquiterpenes, and its chromone derivatives. Thus, the agarwood oil classification system using these chemical components can give fast, reliable, automatic, and accurate results. The review shows that GC-MS and SPME techniques offer many advantages; well-established, easy to use, fast, sensitive method, and solvent-free analyzer.