EXTRACTION (SOLVENT EXTRACTION)

To isolate aromatic oils from plants, volatile organic solvents, such as diethyl ether, hexane, pentane, etc., are used.
At the initial stage, the plant is placed in a solvent; special equipment (a Soxhlet apparatus) helps to automatically determine the optimum level of saturation of the solvent with aromatic substances. After condensation, the solvent again enters the vessel with fresh vegetable raw materials. The process is repeated cyclically, after which the solution is filtered.

Next is the technological evaporation of the solvent using an inert gas and at the desired pressure. Such a long process allows you to get the so-called concrete - a solid substance like wax, which contains from 5 to 20% of essential oil. Then the mix is mixed with alcohol. After dissolving the essential oil, the solution is filtered from insoluble wax particles and unwanted impurities. The purified solution is evaporated under vacuum, thereby evaporating the alcohol. The method of extraction with solvents does not allow to obtain essential oils in pure form. The output is an absolute, highly valued for its aromatherapy and perfume properties, and resinoids (fragrant extract of the resin, which is used in perfumery to make the composition lasting). It contains essential oils and vegetable fatty oils extracted plants.

The absolute obtained as a result of extraction is not suitable for ingestion, since organic solvents are toxic and their traces may remain in the final product (except for essential oils extracted by ethanol).