Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils are used during the manufacture of foods and beverages to add flavor and aroma. These complex raw materials are mixtures of more than 200 components. Of significance is that all citrus essential oils are similar in the components they contain; their major differences being the ratios of these components. It is these different ratios which imparts unique olfactory properties, and makes some oils more valuable than others. For example, in Italy in 1999, 1 Kg of winter lemon essential oil cost between 12.9 and 16.5 Euro, whereas 1 Kg of sweet orange oil cost approximately 0.7 Euro. GC analysis can be used to detect the dilution of expensive lemon essential oil with low-cost sweet orange oil by measuring the ratio of δ-3-carene to camphene.