Steam distillation is known to be the most prevalent method of essential oil extraction. Despite many studies on extraction methods, there is no report about the impact of distillation process duration on the yield and oil quality. A new 24-h steam distillation process for extraction of plant essential oils is presented. For improving the total yield, prolonged and continued isolation was used. A selection of plant species from Lamiaceae and Apiaceae families was subjected to direct steam distillation and essential oils were collected at different times (1, 2, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h). The analysis included either annual or perennial species monitored in terms of different harvesting time. From these studies, it is conclusively that there is no rule about appropriate extraction time, and different plants need different periods for the essential oils to achieve the desired quality or quantity of extract. Thus, extraction duration is directly dependent on what the study is conducted for.
Božović, M., A. Navarra, S. Garzoli, F. Pepi and R. Ragno (2017). “Esential oils extraction: a 24-hour steam distillation systematic methodology.” Natural Product Research: 1-10.