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Distillers

Distillation is truly an art form that requires years of experience and skill to master. The slightest change in the quantity of water, temperature or plant matter can completely change the resulting oil.

Our network of distillers stretches right across the globe and we make sure to link them all together to share skills and knowledge.

From the latest pressing techniques for cold pressed citrus oils to low temperature steam distillations, we are always working with our distillers to ensure that they produce only the best quality essential oils.

Steam distillation

Most of our essential oils are extracted from plants via steam distillation. The plant matter is held in a chamber above boiling water. The vapor rises, is caught in a vessel, and is pushed along the pipe. Then the vapor is rapidly cooled, causing it to condense back into water. The oils and water never mix and are then collected and seperated.

Hydro distillation

Delicate flowers such as roses and orange blossoms will clump together when introduced to steam in the distillation process, so the most effective extraction method is to soak the fragile plant material in pure boiling water instead. Water protects the extracted oil from overheating. The viscous liquid cools and the oil and water are then separated from each other.

Cold pressed

Most citrus essential oils are cold pressed. The thick skin of the citrus fruit contains a small amount of essential oil, you may have noticed when you cut any citrus fruit the essential oil sprays and gives off a lovely aroma. In the cold pressed process, the peel of the citrus fruits have a number of small mini cuts made by a machine before being pressed which releases the oil.

Solvent extraction

Solvent extraction produces a much more complete aroma than other types of distillation. This method uses food solvents such as hexane and ethanol to isolate the aromatic oils from plant material. It is most suitable for plant materials that produce low amounts of essential oils, or for flowers and other plant materials that are unable to withstand the intensity and pressure of steam distillation.

The plant material is first mixed with a solvent in a rotating drum before the solvent is then removed by vacuum distillation. The resulting waxy aromatic compound is called a "concrete."

When this concrete substance is mixed with alcohol before being chilled. After it is chilled the waxes and non odiferous materials are separated and removed, the remaining mixture is then filtered. In the final stage the alcohol is removed by vacuum distillation to leave the absolute oil.

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