Essential Oil: Its Economic Aspect, Extraction, Importance, Uses, Hazards and Quality

  • M. Preema Devi
  • S. Chakrabarty
  • S. K. Ghosh
  • N. Bhowmick


Essential oils are not the same as fragrance oils or perfume where essential oils are derived from true plants. Out of the total world production, India produces 4 %, while in terms of value its share is much better with 21–22 %. But considering the total share in world export of essential oils and perfumery material, it is only 0.4 %. In India, the states having the highest production of rose and tuberose oil are UP and Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad), respectively, while jasmine oil production is highest at TN, Karnataka and Kerala. Essential oils are produced by steam distillation (simple, saturated, hydro-diffusion and microwaves), solvent extraction, methods using oils and fats (enfleurage and pneumatic) and extraction by supercritical gasses. There is a huge opportunity existing in the aromatherapy sector. But one should bear in mind that not all essential oil is safe to be used in aromatherapy. Some of the oil can be hazardous as they can cause severe dermal irritation and even damage the mucous membranes and delicate stomach lining in undiluted form. The quality of an essential oil can be analysed by various methods, i.e. specific gravity, optical rotation, refractive index and gas chromatography. Since most essential oils exhibit deterioration through oxidation and polymerization upon prolonged exposure to air and light, so, in order to prevent browning, essential oils should be stored in cool dry cellars in a hermetically sealed amber glass container. This paper will review the economic aspect, extraction, importance, uses, hazards and quality of essential oil extracted from different plant parts.


Steam Distillation Linalyl Acetate Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction Rose Flower Rose Petal 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Preema Devi
    • 1
  • S. Chakrabarty
    • 2
  • S. K. Ghosh
    • 1
  • N. Bhowmick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pomology and Post Harvest TechnologyUttar Banga Krishi ViswavidyalayaPundibari, Cooch BeharIndia
  2. 2.Department of Post Harvest Technology of Horticultural CropsBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaMohanpur, NadiaIndia

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