The many different ways oil is extracted from plants

October 27, 2017

The many different ways oil is extracted from plants

There are over 60 plant families that contain essential oils the most common are the Compositae, Labiatae, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, and Umbelliferae.

Did you know?

Essential oils work as the security system of the plant by protecting them from bugs and disease, they assist with growth and repair by carrying nutrients to every cell of the plant and they attract insects for pollination.

Each oil is complex with multiple constituents and compositions. Extracted from the plants, bark, seeds and fruit in many different ways to ensure both the highest quality and quantity of the oil produced.

The Process of Expression is often referred to as cold pressed - Aromatic Ingredients

Expression

The Process of Expression is often referred to as cold pressed, this is used for citrus fruits like Lemon, Bergamot, Lime and Orange. This method involves placing the peel into a container with sharp spikes that puncture the rind and release the oil and aroma that is most true to nature of the fruit.

Distillation

The most common method of extracting essential oils is Steam Distillation, this process is used from most essential oils like Lavender, Tea Tree, Geranium. With steam sometimes reaching 100°c the condensation of gas to liquid causes the oil to be pulled from the plant cell. The condensation of oil and water is then separated so the oil can be collected, some essential oils like Tea Tree or Rose oil are partially soluble in water the distillation process can produce both essential oil and scented water, otherwise known as Hydrosol.

Carbon dioxide in its usual state is a gas, with pressure and temperature manipulation it can be changed to have fluid like properties - Aromatic Ingredients

Co2 Extracts

Carbon dioxide in its usual state is a gas, with pressure and temperature manipulation it can be changed to have fluid like properties. Cardamom CO2 Extract, Ginger CO2 Extract and Pink Pepper CO2 Extract are all examples of CO2 extracts. Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) is the process using a solvent to create CO2 extracts that produce high quality with a true to nature aroma.

Using solvent extraction to infuse the plant’s aromatic material - Aromatic Ingredients

Absolute

Using solvent extraction to infuse the plant’s aromatic material, the solvent is then filtered and removed to form a product known as a concrete, this is a more delicate process than steam distillation to protect the fragile plants like Rose, Lily, Jasmine and Lotus. More refining removes the wax present to reveal a concentrated product known as an Absolute. The final product has a high concentration of fragrance and is used largely used in the fragrance industry.

Resinoids

Some plants containing essential oils also exude resins or gums. Usually collected by tapping a tree or plant then using solvent extraction to remove insoluble materials to produce resinoids like Benzoin Resinoid, Labdanum Resinoid and Myrrh Resinoid.

Natural Isolates from Distillation

To extract certain components from essential oil there is a process known as fractional distillation. A fractionating column is used to separate the constituents based on their volatilities, Eugenol from Clove Oil, Geraniol from Palmarosa Oil and Linalyl Acetate from Petitgrain Oil.

Natural Isolates from Enzymes

All living organisms contain enzymes, there as a function to catalyse biochemical reactions without being used up. With current biotechnology, we can start natural materials together with purified natural enzymes to produce specific natural isolates like Acetoin Natural.

Natural Isolate from Fermentation

Used for thousands of years this process involves the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms to create an enzymatic reaction called fermentation. Used to enhance the flavour in products like tea some examples are Gamma Decalactone from Coconut Oil and Ethyl Alcohol from Sugar Cane

With a range of Essential oils, Absolutes, Natural Fragrance, Resins and Natural Isolates, we can help you select the best ingredients for your product development. Contact our specialists here at Aromatic Ingredients.


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