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Biology 2217B
Richard Gardiner

Lab 5 – Herbs, Spices, and Essential Oils Objectives - Understand 3 important terms and how they differ: essential oil, herb, and spice - Understand the process of essential oil extraction from plants o **steam distillation** - Know the structure of oil glands and glandular trichomes - Recognize the spices on display: part familiesused, origin, location produced now - Recognize the 2 important herb Essential Oils - Volatile organic component - Secondary metabolite (means something not required for survival) o E.g. ATP = primary and necessary for survival; so if not enough ATP, may stop producing essential oils o Gums = secondary metabolite from paranchyma - Found in specialized cells, glands and vessels (amongst others…) - Uses: perfumes, flavouring, pest deterrent, aromatherapy o Perfume: frankenscence o Flavouring: orange o Pest Deterrent: o Aromatherapy: Lavendar Extractio Methods 1. Solvent extraction - Oil concentrated by evaporating solvent - Example: vanilla 2. Infusion - Extract volatile component in hot water  the essential oil will not break down in hot oil - Example: herbal teas 3. Comrpession - Plant material is crushed to release the oil - Example: rose oil, bergamot oil (from oranges in Earl Grey) 4. Steam Distillation - Plant material sits on grid on top of hot water  steam passes through plant material - Goes through connection to condenser through a spiral - Cold water passes through bottom of condenser without touching the oil/steam - Oil sits on top of oil then mechanically separated by separator - Example: peppermint or cedar oil (can also be extracted by infusion) Herbs and Spices - Produce characteristic flavours and/or odors when added to food - Chemicals responsible: secondary metabolites (essential oil terpenes) that can be used for defense - Used directly = herbs and spices (ex. Vanilla bean for ice cream) - Used indirectly = essential oils (ex. - Potent microbial effect = stronger smell - Herbs are from the temperate origin Herbs - Leaves used in seasoning - Temperate plants - 2 main families: o Lamiaceae (mint family)  Examples: spearmint, peppermint, marjoram, sage, savoury, thyme, rosemary (white with purple spot flowers), oregano, basil (Sexual parts on bottom of petal), etc. etc. etc.  Family characteristics • Square stems (e.g. Coleus plants) • Simple leaves, numerous oil glands • Flowers have 2 lips, purple/blue or white with purple spots (rarely but sometimes pink)
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