How Are Essential Oils Made?

How Are Essential Oils Made?

  According to the characteristics of essential oil components, select the manufacturing method. What are the methods used to extract essential oil from plant materials? There are five ways to make essential oils based on their properties, such as whether they dissolve in water or change when heated.

Steam Distillation [*1]

  The method of manufacturing plant materials by steam boiling is carried out in the following steps:

  1. The plant material is put into the distillation column, and the water vapor created below evaporates the plant's aromatic ingredients.
  2. Water vapor containing aromatic components concentrates in the condenser.
  3. The concentrated water vapor is cooled by cooling water and becomes liquid.
  4. The liquid consists of two layers of essential oil and hydrosol.
  5. Remove the essential oil and bottle it.

  This is the most common manufacturing method, and most essential oils are produced using this method, but because of exposure to heat and water vapor, it is not suitable for plants that cannot withstand these extraction processes.

  An essential oil made by steam distillation: Ylang-ylang, German, Chamomile, Roman, Chamomile, Happy Sage, Cypress, Sandalwood, Juniper, Magnolia, Geranium, Tea Tree, Neroli, Patchouli, Black Pepper, Frankincense, Vetiver, Peppermint, Myrrh, Vanilla, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Otto Rose, Rosemary, etc.

Squeezing Method [*2]

  Citrus peel basically uses the manufacturing method that press, it is to press manually before, it is to use centrifugal method to separate after mechanical drum pressing now, because do not use heat energy, so balmy composition won't produce change almost, can obtain the most original and natural sweet atmosphere, it is the characteristic of this method. However, the aromatic composition produced by this method changes rapidly.

  An essential oil made by squeezing: Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lemon, etc.

Volatile Organic Solvent Extraction Method [*3]

  The method of dissolving aromatic components by volatile organic solvents is carried out in the following steps:

  1. The plant material is placed in the extraction column together with volatile organic solvents (petroleum ether, etc.).
  2. At room temperature, the natural waxes and fragrances of plants are dissolved.
  3. The plant is removed and the solvent is allowed to evaporate, leaving behind a semisolid coagulant with aromatic and waxy components.
  4. Using alcohol to dissolve the aromatic component, the wax component separation, removal of alcohol, finally obtain the aromatic component.

  The material that gets from the flower so is called original essence (Absolute), the material that waits for from colophony is called spice extract (Resinoid), often is used as settle sweet agent in perfume.

  Essential oils produced by extraction with volatile organic solvents: Moroccan Jasmine, Benzoin, Rose etc.

Fat Absorption Method [*4]

  The manufacturing method of using oil to adsorb aroma components is the traditional method before volatile organic solvent extraction method is adopted. This method arranges flowers and so on in normal temperature solid oil (butter, lard, etc.), divided into cold immersion method to adsorb aroma components (Enfleurage), and warm immersion method to soak flowers and so on with heated oil juice (Maceration). After adsorption of aromatic components to a saturated oil (balsam), the aromatic components are dissolved in alcohol. Later, the alcohol is removed, resulting in an aromatic ingredient called protoplasm.

  An essential oil made by liposuction: It used to be the most common method for extracting things like Roses and Jasmines, but is now almost never used.

Supercritical Fluid Extraction [*5]

  Developed in recent years, using liquefied gas extraction of aromatic components. Apply high pressure to a gas such as carbon dioxide and it becomes a fluid between gas and liquid (supercritical state). When plant material is added, the fluid penetrates or diffuses into the plant to incorporate aromatic ingredients. The essential oils obtained by restoring the fluid pressure and leaving the aromatic components behind when the liquefied gas is vaporized are called extacts. Because it requires expensive equipment, it is not the current manufacturing method.

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