Microwave-assisted techniques (MATs); a quick way to extract a fragrance: a review

Nat Prod Commun. 2013 Oct;8(10):1493-504.


In recent years microwave-assisted techniques (MATs) have been introduced as a new process design and operation for essential oils extraction, representing a viable alternative to conventional old-type methods of distillation which are routinely used for the isolation of essential oils from herbs, flowers and spices prior to gas chromatographic analysis. The novelty of the technique lies in a microwave heating source generating a mixture of boiling solvent with the raw plant material settled above (or drenched inside). Several variations of distillation techniques are evaluated in terms of substantial energy saving, rapidity, product yield, cleanliness and product quality. Results confirm the effectiveness of MATs, which allow extraction of essential oils in shorter extraction time (up-to 9 times faster), using "greener" procedures and provide a higher quality essential oil with better sensory and antioxidant properties.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Green Chemistry Technology
  • Microwaves*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification*
  • Plants / chemistry*


  • Oils, Volatile