Main uses in food processing and perfumery

Virtually all essential oils produced are used in the food and perfumery/cosmetics industries.

10.4.1 Present uses in food

Reported uses (Fenaroli, 1998) are, in ppm: baked goods, 13.0; frozen diary, 7.11; soft candy, 11.39; gelatin and pudding, 5.41; non-alcoholic beverages, 3.47; alcoholic beverages, 2.08; hard candy, 295.2; and chewing gum, 308.4. The leaves of many of the scented plants are used in domestic baking and the mint-flavoured P. tomentosum is used to make

10.4.2 Novel uses of geranium oil and extracts in food processing and their possible uses as food preservatives

Pelargonium, essential oils (EOs), obtained from different species, with a wide spectrum of chemical compositions, have shown considerable potential as antimicrobial agents (Lis-Balchin et al., 1995). Studies have been of 18 different Pelargonium petroleum spirit extracts (Lis-Balchin et al., 1998), as well as the more hydrophylic extracts in methanol, against four bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Proteus vulgaris and Bacillus cereus. They showed that 'Attar of Roses', similar to commercial geranium oil with the main components citronellol and geraniol, was a very potent antibactericide, as was 'Lemon Fancy', owing to its high neral and geranial content. The petroleum spirit extracts resembled the activity of steam-distilled samples. Hydrophilic extracts proved to have more potent antibacterial activity, suggesting that flavonoids, tannins and other phenolics in the herb are the effective antimicrobial agents (Lis-Balchin and Deans, 1996; Lis-Balchin et al., 1996c).

Using a quiche filling as a model food system, the antimicrobial activity of different scented Pelargonium EOs was investigated against Salmonella enteriditis, Listeria innocua, Saccharomyces ludwigii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. The EOs, in concentrations ranging from 250 to 500 ppm (Lis-Balchin et al., 2000; Lis-Balchin, 2002e) showed similar inhibition to that of thyme oil, a strong antimicrobial agent.

Activity against Staphylococcus aureus in a porridge system indicated that Pelargonium oil (at 1000 ppm) was effective against both S. aureus and E. coli, but the hydrosols were ineffective, similarly to clove and cinnamon. The complex interaction of the essential oils and extracts with different model food systems is discussed by Lis-Balchin (2002e). The results, however, suggest that the Pelargonium essential oils, including commercial geranium oil, could be used not just as a flavouring, but also as a novel food antimicrobial agent.

10.4.3 Perfumery usage

Geranium oil and concoctions using geranium oil components have long been used in making artificial rose oil or 'rose extenders'. Rhodinol ex Geranium is used with hydroxycitronellol, linalool, geraniol, dimethyl benzyl carbide, cinnamic alcohol, phenyl ethyl alcohol, geranyl and linalyl esters in modern perfumery and cosmetic products. Geranium oil is frequently used in masculine fragrances often in conjunction with lavender in, for example, Moustache (Rochas), also classical fougère blends. Geranium also appears in women's fragrances, such as Ivoire and Balmain, as well as featuring in classical chypres such as Cabochard, Gres, and the original chypre, Coty. Giorgio, Armani, is a combination of mandarin and geranium (Wells and Lis-Balchin, 2002).

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