Factors affecting the distillation efficiency of basil essential oil

27/03/2024 vipsen

1. Vietnamese Basil Tree

Basil’s scientific name is Ocimum basilicum L., belonging to the Lamiaceae family. The tree is widely grown in Asia, Africa, America and other temperate climate regions around the world. In Vietnam, the tree is grown in all localities from North to South

The nutritional composition of basil includes protein (3.15g/100g), fat (0.64g/100g), energy (23Kcal/100g), vitamin C (18mg/100g), vitamin E (0.80mg /100g), vitamin K (414.8mcg/100g), calcium (177mg/100g), iron (3.17mg/100g), potassium (295mg/100g), magnesium (64mg/100g) and sodium (4mg/100g)

In Vietnam, Basil is used frequently as a culinary herb. In addition, the plant is used medicinally to treat colds, fever, cough, sinusitis, headaches, rheumatism, warts, worms, and kidney failure.

Vietnamese basil plant/Vietnamese Ocimum basilicum

2. Testing procedure

2.1 Raw materials.

The distillation material is 4-month-old fresh basil that has flowered, enough time to harvest and produce the best amount of essential oil.

Basil is harvested around 8-10 am, when sunlight is not yet intense. This is the time when plants photosynthesize the most during the day and have high essential oil content. Cut off the upper part including flower tops and leaves, leaving the base to continue harvesting the next crop.

Raw materials are dried to evaporate water, helping to save distillation heat

2.2 Testing equipment

Use a 100l capacity distiller with a capacity of 15kg of raw materials per distillation. Distillation equipment includes: Distillation pot, steam pipe, condenser and liquid receiver.

Distillation pot: Contains water and ingredients. When boiling, the essential oil will evaporate in the pot. The distillation pot consists of 3 shells, including: The insulating shell, the middle layer containing the heating agent, and the innermost layer containing the ingredients. Stainless steel 304 material. Heating material: 1 phase electricity.

Steam pipe: Connects the distillation pot to the condenser. The main task is to bring steam containing essential oils from the distillation pot to the condenser.

Condenser: When steam and essential oils fly away, this part will quickly cool the heat to condense into liquid.

Liquid collection tank: liquid will be collected here. Basil essential oil is lighter than water so it will float to the top. An extraction device will be used to separate the essential oils.

2.3 Process

Factors affecting the quality and recovery efficiency of basil essential oil were surveyed as follows:

– Ratio of ingredients and water (1:4, 1:5, 1:6)

– distillation time (2 hours, 3 hours and 5 hours)

– distillation temperature (1000oC, 1200oC, 1300oC).

The material weight is 15 kg for one test. The amount of essential oil obtained will be checked for volumn and quality. The results will be compared and conclusions drawn.

3. Results obtained

3.1 Ratio of ingredients and water.

In the sample ratio of raw materials and water 1:4, 1:5, 1:6, the essential oil content obtained was 0.22%, 0.26% and 0.27%, respectively.

This shows that the amount of essential oil obtained tends to increase with the amount of solvent used. During the distillation process, when adjusting the temperature, the mixture of raw materials and water, the steam penetrates into the cell layers, breaking down the essential oil sacs and attracting the essential oils with the steam.

If the amount of water is too little, it will not be enough to dissolve the colloids and salts surrounding the essential oil bag, which will prevent the essential oil from escaping. The more solvent used for distillation, the greater the ability of the essential oil to diffuse into the solvent. The solvent easily penetrates the material, releasing the components, so the amount of essential oil in the solvent is higher. However, when it reaches a certain limit, the amount of essential oil recovered will not increase significantly even if the amount of solvent is increased.

If the water ratio is too large, the highly polar essential oil components will dissolve more in water, so the amount of essential oil collected in the condenser tube will also decrease. Besides, too much water reduces the economic efficiency of the distillation process because it consumes energy to provide heat and requires a larger equipment volume to contain. Therefore, the optimal material/water ratio is 1:5.

Basil oil Steam Distillation Equipment

3.2 Distillation time.

The results of surveying the dependence of basil essential oil content on distillation time show that, at different time levels of 2 hours, 3 hours and 4 hours, the obtained essential oil content is, respectively 0.2%, 0.25%, 0.26%. This shows that the longer the distillation time, the greater the amount of essential oil obtained. The reason is that there is plenty of time for the essential oil to diffuse out and be carried away by steam until all the essential oil in the sample is gone.

However, if the distillation time is prolonged, the essential oil mixed in water will change and continue to separate into small non-condensing molecules, causing loss of essential oil. Therefore, to save energy and time, the most appropriate distillation time is 3 hours, bringing high efficiency and avoiding effects that reduce the quality of essential oils.

3.3 Temperature.

The results of surveying the influence of basil essential oil distillation temperature show that the obtained essential oil content gradually decreases according to the temperature levels of 1000oC, 1200oC, 1300oC with corresponding values of 0.26%, 0.22%, 0.21%. High distillation temperatures make essential oils soluble in water, and the higher the temperature, the easier it is to separate into small non-condensing molecules, causing loss of essential oils, making recovery efficiency not high and quality. Essential oils are also reduced. Therefore, the distillation temperature of 1000oC is the most appropriate.

4. Conclusion

After testing with a volume of 15kg of raw materials at a time using a 100l essential oil distillation system, the optimal factors include a ratio of raw materials and water of 1:5, extraction time of 3 hours, and distillation temperature of 1000oC. Research shows that the recovery efficiency during the extraction process ranges from 0.25-0.28%. The finished basil essential oil is liquid, light yellow in color, and has a characteristic aroma. The essential oil obtained from the process is of good quality after GCMS testing, with Methyl Chavicol content reaching 85.89%.

Steam distillation Equipment in VIPSEN factory

5. Basil essential oil produced at VIPSEN essential oil factory

VIPSEN is one of the leading researchers and producers of natural essential oils in Vietnam. Essential oil products are produced using advanced methods, achieving high quality with 100% natural ingredients, without additives or mixtures.

Basil essential oil products are produced by VIPSEN from selected raw materials from the famous basil growing area in Phu Xuyen, Hanoi, Vietnam. The production process from planting and harvesting raw materials to producing and preserving finished products is always closely monitored by a team of experienced experts and technicians. VIPSEN’s basil essential oil products are not only popular in Vietnam but also around the world.

For further information, please contact:

Phone number/Whatsapp/Zalo/Wechat: +84 868 855 086


Address: D7-TT9, Forosa street, Xuan Phuong new urban area, Xuan Phuong, Nam Tu Liem, Hanoi

Factory address: Bai Dai, Tien Xuan, Thach That, Hanoi.

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