This chapter provides an overview of the market for essential oils and describes its fundamental regulation in the European Union (EU). Both processes and trends in essential oils production, trade, and consumption are analysed. Growth of the market stems from consumer interest in ‘naturals’ associated with health. The market is also attractive to subsistence farmers of developing countries as the raw materials (plants and plant parts), for essential olis are generally obtained from small farms. In the EU, product categories operate under specific regulations to enhance product quality and to maintain market homogeneity and consumer protection. This chapter focuses on EU legislation of general interest to the essential oils industry and regulations inherent to flavourings for food, cosmetics, and additives for animal nutrition.
Part of the book: Potential of Essential Oils