Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
Essential oil extraction varies depending on what type of plant the oil comes from. Some essential oils, specifically those from citrus fruits, contain compounds that may be denatured, or lose some of their aroma and beneficial properties when exposed to extreme heat. This means that methods such as steam distillation could negatively impact the essential oil composition. These oils need to be extracted through a different distillation process: cold-pressing.
Historically, many citrus oils were extracted using a process known as sponge-pressing, which involved the rinds being pressed by hand. Today, cold-pressing, or expression, is the most common and effective means of extricating essential oil from the waxy outermost layer of the rind.
In cold-pressing, the fruit is placed in a large bin where it travels across rasping (coarse filing) cylinders that puncture the peel’s surface. As this process occurs, small essential oil-containing sacs burst open. Water is sprayed over the fruit, which creates a watery mixture of fruit flesh, fine particles, and essential oil. This mixture is then filtered and centrifuged (rotated around a fixed axis) to separate out the pure essential oil.
Expression yields essential oils with a beautifully potent fragrance. The list of cold-pressed essential oils includes many favorites such as Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, and Wild Orange. While the process to extract an oil utilizing cold expression is labor intensive, it is well worth the effort. When done properly, cold-pressing produces quality oils worthy of the doTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade™ distinction.