Standard Article

Citrus Oils and Essences

  1. Fereidoon Shahidi,
  2. Ying Zhong

Published Online: 13 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.citrshah.a01

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Shahidi, F. and Zhong, Y. 2012. Citrus Oils and Essences. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 1–17.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 JUL 2012

Chemistry Terms

Choose one or more boxes to highlight terms.


Citrus fruits are among the most popular fruits and have a long history of production and use. However, within the past century, industrial technologies have began to develop in order to convert citrus fruits into commercial products. Citrus has proven to be a very good option for oil and essence production. Citrus peel oils are of a very complex composition and are contained in oval, balloon-shaped oil sacs, or vesicles locate in the outer rind, or flavedo, of the fruit The oil is usually extracted by mechanical separation or hydrodistillation.Citrus seeds are regarded as a new source of oil. The seed oil is recovered from the seeds by crushing and solvent extraction. Citrus essences are distilled aqueous solutions of more volatile components from the corresponding citrus juices.Citrus peel oils are used widely in beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and the perfumery industry. Seed oils are used in cooking and the treatment of leather and textiles. Quality and freshness are the major considerations pertaining to their value and applications. Most of the qualitative changes in citrus peel oil occur during storage.Storage changes and chemical composition of the citrus oils are described. Despite increasing application of these oils, certain challenges related to potential health-damaging properties and contamination exist. These health and safety factors are discussed.


  • citrus oil;
  • seeds;
  • essences;
  • extraction;
  • citrus peel