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Site Visit: Ernesto Ventos, Barcelona

By: Jeb Gleason-Allured
Posted: February 24, 2012, from the March 2012 issue of P&F magazine.

A recent visit to Ernesto Ventós in Barcelona, Spain, included a stop in the company’s naturals plant, which is overseen by production manager Josep Maria Viñas. While many of the company’s ingredients are steam distilled in-fi eld, the plant performs short-path molecular distillation, rectifi cation and acetylization. In addition to the Spanish essential oils that comprise the company’s legacy, Ernesto Ventós produces new specialty products such as vetiveryl from Haitian vetiver, guaiyl acetate from Paraguayan guaiacwood and patchouli acetate.

The family owned company was founded in 1916, producing Spanish essential oils. Today, the company sources raw materials from around the world—Peru balsam from Guatemala, vetiver from Brazil, cinnamon leaf oil from Sri Lanka (safrole-free) and nutmeg from Indonesia (safrole-free). In addition, Ernest Ventós distributes natural aromatics, aroma chemicals and essential oils for companies such as Firmenich, IFF, Kao, Zeon, BASF and Indesso, offering repackaging service for solids, liquids and powders.

Spanish Essential Oils

The Spanish essential oils produced by the company include red thyme, cypress, lavandin, spike lavender, rosemary, marjoram, petitgrain lemon, hyssop and savory. Spain’s varied climate, which includes tropical and alpine locales, accounts for the country’s diversity of materials. While some materials such as spike lavender are still collected in the wild, Ernesto Ventós encourages the formation of plantations among growers. The need for such plantations is particularly acute as land is consumed by food agriculture, which can drive up costs.

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