Naturals citrus fruit essential oils are 100% cold pressed. Our other essential oils are typically 100% steam distilled. On the right is a rough diagram of how part of this process works.
Other extraction processes include:
- Expressed Oils.
- Steam Distillation.
- Solvent Extraction.
- Fractional Distillation and Percolation.
- Carbon Dioxide Extraction.
- Phytonic Process.
Enfleurage is one of the oldest methods of extracting essential oils and is rarely used these days because of its high cost. It involves placing the flower petals on a layer of glass that is first spread with a thin layer of fat called "chassis". The volatile oil diffuses into the fat, then the fat is collected and the oil is extracted from the fat using alcohol.
Expressed or Cold pressing of Essential oils is done with out any solvents or heat of any kind. Most citrus oils are done this way as the diagram above shows.
Distillation: Steam distillation uses hot steam to realease the aromatic molicules from the plant by opening the areas where oils are kept in the plant material. the oils evaporate into the steam. The steam is a controlled temperature to allow the oil to escape without buring the plant. The steam then passes through a cooling systemt that forms a liquid where the oil and water are then seperated.
Solvent Extraction: solvent extraction is used for botanicals that typically have a very low yeild of essential oil. Maceration, enfleurage & hypercritical CO2 are forms of solvent extraction.
Fractional Distillation and Percolation: Fractional distillation separates compnent parts or chemical compounds by their boiling points by heathing them to a temperature at which one of the compounds will vaporize. Usually the parts have boiling points that differ by less than 25 deg. C.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction:
Supercritical carbon dioxide is used as the extraction solvent for creation of essential oils and other herbal distillates. Its main advantages over solvents such as Hexane and acetone in this process are that it is non-toxic and non-flammable. Furthermore, separation of the reaction components from the starting material is much simpler than with traditional organic solvents. The CO2 can evaporate into the air or be recycled by condensation into a cold recovery vessel. Its advantage over steam distillation s that it operates at a lower temperature, which can separate the plant waxes from the oils. (wikipedia)
Carbon Dioxide extraction is also how they extract caffine from coffee beans. sCO2 is forced through the green coffee beans which are then sprayed with water at high pressure to remove the caffeine.
Phytonic Process: The Phytonic process is a one of the newest methods of extracting essential oils using non-CFCs (non-chlorofluorocarbons). It is also called Florasol Extraction and the oils are referred to as phytols.