Green Extraction of Volatiles and Essential Oils

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Most companies in the food and pharma industries use conventional extraction methods such as those using solvents, or steam and hydro-distillation. Recent trends in extraction techniques have largely focused on minimizing the use of petroleum-based solvents. Recently, more efficient green extraction methods, such as subcritical water extraction (SWE) (Özel et al., 2003), supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) (Gao et al., 2021), and microwave assisted extraction (MAE) (Chemat and Cravotto, 2013) have been used for the extraction of volatiles and essential oils from various plants. These extraction techniques are not only cheaper and faster, but being considered environmentally-friendly, they would also enable these products to claim a green label. Having a green label is desirable to many customers.
SWE as a method, is non-toxic, non-flammable, fast, cheap, readily available, safe, environmentally friendly and uses a green solvent. The extraction of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, flavours, fragrances and essential oils has been carried out using SWE and both qualitative and quantitative results obtained. SFE (usually CO2) is relatively fast due to the low viscosity, high diffusivity, and tuneable solvent power of the supercritical fluid. SFE is also considered a green, environmentally-safe technology. MAE is a relatively new extraction technique that combines microwave and traditional solvent extraction methods. Microwaves are applied to heat the solvents and plant tissues during the extraction process, which increases the kinetics of extraction.

I would like to thank Professor Fahretin Gogus (Gaziantep University, Turkey), Professor Ally Lewis (York University, UK) and Dr Avtar Matharu (York University) for their collaborative work.

Özel, M.Z., Gogus, F& Lewis, A.C. (2003). Subcritical water extraction of essential oils from Thymbra spicata. Food Chemistry, 82, 381-386.
Gao, Y., Özel, M.Z., Dugmore, T., Sulaeman, A & Matharu, A.S. (2021) A biorefinery strategy for spent industrial ginger waste. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 401, 123400.
Chemat, F & Cravotto, G. (2013). Microwave-assisted Extraction for Bioactive Compounds: Theory and Practice: 4 (Food Engineering Series), New York, Springer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021
Event51st International Symposium n Essential Oils (ISEO 2021) - On-line, Nicosia, Cyprus
Duration: 29 Aug 20211 Sept 2021
Conference number: 51


Conference51st International Symposium n Essential Oils (ISEO 2021)
Abbreviated titleISEO 2021
OtherInternational Symposium on Essential Oils (ISEO) has been organized every year since 1969 in a different European town.
Internet address


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