A lot goes into the extraction of wholesale essential oils, oftentimes it’s a process not many consider or think about for too long, but it actually has a long and fruitful history associated. They have become a foundational aspect of natural beauty products as well as being used to add an aromatic edge to any given space, some have also been utilised for their unique properties as natural bug repellants.
Due to the diversified nature of different wholesale essential oils, there are a fair few methods of extracting the goodness that resides within the plant material depending entirely on the plant itself, more interestingly it’s been established that varying methods of extraction from the same plant material can produce wildly differing outcomes.
We are going to explore how the art of extraction has evolved and is adapted depending on the wholesale essential oils desired.
What’s Necessary About Wholesale Essential Oils?
No doubt you are aware of the many variants in the market of various essences of botanicals. Wholesale essential oils are the purified essence of the original plant matter which puts them above their counterparts. While other extracts may include chemicals that dilute or reduce the natural extract product too much, essential oils are the pure form of this plant matter extract. Look out for this when buying your products and ensure that what you choose is organic and natural.
The notion of purchasing wholesale essential oils is also advantageous for the average consumer or business as the name suggests, you’ll be purchasing from the supplier. This alleviates the concern of not knowing where the product came from with the caveat of having an ethically sourced and naturally cultivated product supply that you can usually depend on.
Every Part Is Useful
Before we get into the extraction of wholesale essential oils, we should know where they come from. As mentioned previously, they exist in almost all aspects of plant matter from roots to the leaves themselves. Peppermint and Eucalyptus extract is derived from leaves for instance. The bark of certain trees contains cinnamon extract, down to the wood structure itself which is where sandalwood varieties can be sourced from. Everything from the fruits, down to the peels themselves can contain a rich tapestry of potential wholesale essential oils ready for extraction.
Of course, not every piece of plant matter can have this exact product extracted per se, some chemical buildups of certain plant matter like bananas for instance, simply cannot be extracted by natural means and are often replicated in laboratories and chemical production to evoke the fragrance or aroma of said plant matter.
The Art of Extraction
Extracting wholesale essential oils proves to be where the magic happens, especially as it pertains to the wide array of methods used by generations past. The substance itself is present in small glands that exist in the plant matter where extraction is possible. The way in which secretion and collection of this sensitive substance are entirely different depending on the capability of the plant itself.
There is a lot of trial and error associated with ensuring that the delicate wholesale essential oils are extracted with the least possible interference or damage to the structural integrity of the cells of the substance.
While we don’t have the room to discuss every single method, here are a few of the more dominant schools of thought with extraction:
By far, the most popular form of modern extraction for wholesale essential oils is the humble steam distillation. A tried-and-true method of extraction for a number of variants of plant matter, the process yields a high margin of substance with very little disturbance.
The plant material is placed into a stainless-steel tank and overwhelmed with either steam or boiling water to the point where the plant matter breaks down completely. After the matter vaporises, it’s released all the goodness that is to become wholesale essential oils. The steam then filters into an inlet leading it to a separate condenser. The condenser lowers the temperature dramatically by filtering the steam or hot water with cool water to bring the vapour back into liquid form.
The cool water is once more filtered through what is known as a ‘separator’ to split the wholesale essential oils from the water.
This method is still widely used to this day by various suppliers of these products.
Of course, there are certain plant matters that are unable to withstand the intense temperature spikes of steam distillation and require a more nuanced method of isolation and extraction. It involves using solvents like hexane or pure ethanol to instigate a separation of the substance from the delicate material using a mild heat. This creates a resinous substance concentrate that contains wax, fragrance, and the extract itself. The resin is then mixed with pure alcohol and distilled at a low temperature to absorb the excess material and leave the wholesale essential oils to be collected appropriately.
This method employs a much more delicate aromatic capture of the plant matter and is generally reserved for only the more delicate plant matter that requires it. Due to the time-consuming nature of the process, it is typical to find the wholesale essential oils that are extracted in this process to be a little more expensive than ones that are typically steam distilled.
CO2 Extraction aka Supercritical Distillation
This is a fascinating method of extracting wholesale essential oils from plant matter as it is almost a hybrid of the two previous methods described. This method involves using concentrated CO2 as a catalyst for the distillation process. The way in which this happens is that concentrated CO2 reverts to its liquid state while pressurised whilst still maintaining its gaseous qualities, this is what leads it to be known as ‘supercritical’.
The fascinating aspect comes where it interacts in an extractor tank that contains the plant matter, as the properties of liquid CO2 are similar to a solvent, it strips away the resin, pigment and all types of substances from the plant matter. The future wholesale essential oils are then dissolved into the CO2 liquid. The liquid is then filtered through valves that release the CO2 from its pressure which reforms it into a gas that leaves the wholesale essential oil in an attached separator and ready to be collected.
There are several perks for using this particular method, one particular is that there is no solvent remaining after the final step due to the atmosphere reverting the CO2 naturally back to gas leaving only the wholesale essential oils behind. Another perk is the retention of particular chemical compositions that are sometimes lost in the steam distillation. In some cases, its colour, and in others, it’s the aroma potency. These properties are sometimes lost in the steam distillation process due to the changes in chemical build from the extreme heat.
These were three of the more renowned methods of extraction wholesale essential oils from plant matter in the more natural ways. There will always be debate surrounding which extraction method works best. A lot of the time, multiple methods will be utilised for different chemical compounds that exist in the varied plant matter that contains the delightful wholesale essential oils.