Essential oils known as etheric oil or frying oil are volatile, have a bitter taste, and smell similar to the original plant which is taken from plant parts such as leaves, fruit, seeds, flowers, roots, rhizomes, skin wood, even whole plant parts. Apart from being produced by plants, essential oils can also be a form of degradation by enzymes or made synthetically.
The essential oil production
The essential oil production process can be pursued in 3 ways, namely: (1) pressing, (2) solvent extraction, and (3) distillation. Refining is the method most widely used to obtain essential oils.
Refining is carried out by boiling the raw materials in a distilled kettle so that there is steam needed to separate the essential oil by flowing saturated steam from a water boiling boiler into the distillation boiler.
Essential oil is one of the potential agro-industrial export commodities that can become a mainstay for Indonesia to earn foreign exchange. World export-import statistics show that consumption of essential oils and their derivatives increases by about 10% from year to year. This increase was mainly driven by the growing demand for the food flavoring, cosmetic, and fragrances industries.
Indonesia’s potential as an essential source
Some examples of essential oil source plants that grow in Indonesia and plant parts that contain essential oils:
- Roots: Vetiver, Kemuning
- Leaves: Patchouli, Cloves, Lemongrass, Lemongrass, Betel, Mentha, Eucalyptus, Gandapura, Lime, Karmiem, Krangean, Kemuning, Kenikir, Turmeric, Kunci, Basil, Basil.
- Seeds: Nutmeg, Pepper, Celery, Avocado, Cardamom, Klausen, Kasturi, Kosambi.
- Fruits: Fennel, Orange, Cumin, Kemukus, Anis, Coriander.
- Flowers: Cloves, Kenanga, Ylang-ylang, Jasmine, Tuberose, Yellow Cemopaka, Thousand Leaves, Gandasuli Kuning, Srikanta, Angsana, Srigading.
- Bark: Cinnamon, Acacia, Lawang, Sandalwood, Masoi, Selasihan, Sintok.
- Twigs: Pine gimbul, Pine fan.
- Rhizome: Ginger, Turmeric, Bangel, Baboan, Jeringau, Kencur, Galangal, Lempuyang sari, Temu Hitam, Temulawak, Temu putri.
- All sections: Roots of cats, Bandotan, Inggu, Selasih, Sudamala, Trawas.
In this book, we will explain some of the essential oil-producing plants which are Indonesia’s mainstay commodities.
Patchouli (Pogostemon spp) is known by various names in several regions, such as dilem (Sumatra-Java), rei (West Sumatra, pisak (Alor), ungapa (Timor). In international trade, patchouli is known as patchouly. Pogostemon sp, among others:
Pogostemon cablin Bent
Popularly known as Aceh patchouli, its main characteristic is the leaves are rounded like a heart and on the bottom surface there are hairs. Until the age of 3 (three) years, this species has almost no flowering.
Pogostemon hortensis Backer
Known as patchouli soap. The main characteristics of the leaf sheets are thinner, hairless, the surface of the leaves looks shiny, and the color is green.
Pogostemon heyneanus Benth
Often called forest patchouli or Javanese patchouli. The characteristics are slightly curled leaf tips, thin leaves with dark green color, and faster flowering.
Varieties of patchouli in Indonesia
Of the three types of patchouli, the one with the highest oil content is Aceh patchouli (2.5 – 5.0%), while the other patchouli contains an average of 0.5 – 1.5%. Currently, there are 3 superior varieties of patchouli in Indonesia with productivity> 300 kg of oil/ha, namely Sidikalang, Tapaktuan, and Lhokseumawe.
Patchouli cultivation is not too difficult, what needs to be considered is the accuracy in choosing the type of patchouli variety, intensive cultivation management, and a growing environment that meets the requirements, namely at a temperature of 24 – 28 ° C, rainfall 2000 – 3500 mm / year or humidity> 75%, soil texture of crumbs, loose and lots of hummus, and the soil height reaches 50 – 400 m above sea level. Plants that grow in the lowlands have high oil content, low PA (patchouly alcohol), and vice versa in the highlands, the oil content is low but the PA is high.
Fragrant Root (Vetiver)
Vetiveria zizanoides Stapt (Vetiveria zizanoides Stapt) belongs to the Graminae family or grasses. It has a very fragrant smell, grows thick clumps, and has dark red, many-branched fiber roots. Planting time is any time of year, but it is best at the beginning of the rainy season.
The production process of vetiver oil is carried out by steam distillation at a pressure level of I-3 atm for 8 – 9 hours with a distillation rate of 0.7 – 0.8 liters of distillate/kg of roots/hour. The average yield of vetiver oil is 1.5 – 2%. The quality of vetiver oil depends not only on the age of the roots but also on the duration of distillation.