Essential Oil Extraction Processes

Methods Used to Produce Essential Oils

Distilling: Extracting essential oils by distillation producing the volatile & water insoluble parts of a plant.

Steam Distilling: Extracting essential oils by steam distillations. Used for most essential oils.

Pressing: Extracting oil from the plant by applying pressure. Citrus Oils are usually extracted this way.

Cold Pressing: A certain amount of heat is used to help release the oil, usually not higher than 60-80 C (140-176 F). Above this temperature, the process cannot be classified as cold expression.

Solvent Extraction: Extracting delicate oils that can be damaged by distillation or other methods using solvents to dissolve the oils.

Absolute Solvent Extraction: Absolutes are extracted from concretes using alcohol which is later removed.

Resinoid Solvent Extraction: Resinoids are resins dissolved in a solvent such as benzene or alcohol. Resins are natural solid or semi-solid substance produces by plants or trees. Vanilla Oleoresin is an example.

Fractionation: Additional processing of essential oils to remove "undesirables".

Fractionation, Folding: Oil is re-distilled removing some but not all of the terpenes in the oil.

Fractionation, Terpeneless: Oil is re-distilled and all terpeneless are removed.

Fractionation, Rectification: Part(s) of the oils is removed using re-distillation, heating or chilling.

Reconstituting: Blending a combination of natural chemicals to mimic the composition of an essential oil as found in nature, e.g. Melissa & Yuzu.

Natural Reconstituting: All components in blend are natural (from other plants).


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