Reflections of a Retired Flavorist Before He Forgets: Lime

The flavor of Oil Limes, Distilled, certainly ranks near the top of my list of flavors that I would choose in a confection. I feel that it has a clean, bright flavor and that may be one reason for the popularity of Cola and Up-type beverages where it is a key ingredient.

Surprisingly, Oil Limes, Distilled, is not a true natural product but results from the action of the acidic juice on the original essential oil. It is produced by comminuting the whole lime and distilling off the altered essential oil.

Back in the 1960s I compared the composition of Oil Limes, Distilled with Oil Limes, Expressed using a GC. I was curious about the differences and the changes that obviously took place in the distilled oil, I was struck with the similarities between Oil Limes, Expressed and Oil Lemon. One obvious exception was the presence in both lime oils of an ingredient (I identified it as a terpene alcohol) that I felt was a key characterizing component of lime and had a fresh pineterpineol odor. Its presence in both oils indicated that it was present initially and unaffected by the action of the juice.

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