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> Methods of extraction

Steam Distillation


Most essential oils are obtained by steam distillation, without descaling agents and at low pressure.
In this process, which takes place under low pressure, steam is forced through a vat filled with aromatic plants. The steam separate the essence from the plant and binds with it, forming a homogeneous gas that then exit the distillation vat. The gas goes through a coil immersed in cold running water. This cause condensation, with the resulting liquid being made up of two separated parts. Since the density of the essential oil is below that of water (density <1), the former floats on top of the latter and is collected by over-flowing.

Criteria of a good distillation

 

Expression

This method is the simplest, but is only possible with citrus fruit (orange, lemon bergamot…). It consists of mechanically breaking the “essence pockets” contained in the fresh peel of citrus fruits in order to collect the essences. The product obtained is called “essence” and not “essential oil” because the aromatic active molecules have not been submitted to the physicochemical action of a solvent or a steam distillation but to a simple mechanical expression.

Other methods of extraction

Yield

Obtaining 1kg of its essential oil requires:

- 7 kg of dried buds of cloves (Eugebnia caryophyllus)
- 50 kg of lavandin (Lavandula reydovan)
- 150 kg of true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 1 ton of everlasting (Helichrysum italicum)
- 4 tons of petal of Damascus rose (Rosa damascena)
- 5 to 10 tons of Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

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