Edible oleoresins are natural isolates obtained by extracting plant material with suitable solvents and recovering of the solvent, mostly by evaporation. The residue is called the oleoresin. Various types of solvents are used to extract oleoresins (e.g. hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, alcohols, ethers, ketones and carbon dioxide). The oleoresins contain all the chemical compounds, volatile and non-volatile, that are soluble in the chosen solvent.
The extracted volatile constituents, also called the essential oil, may concern several hundred compounds, most of which are unknown. The volatile part of the oleoresin is responsible for the flavoring and scent properties of the product.
The isolated non-volatile components consist of several groups of chemical compounds, such as carotenoids, steroids, alkaloids, anthocyanins, glycosides etc. The nonvolatile constituent of the oleoresin can be important for the taste, color, mouthfeel, texture and antioxidative properties of the material. Oleoresins are economically useful because of their facile application, their higher concentration of organoleptically interesting substances (e.g. smelling and tasting compounds), and their content of coloring and antioxidative constituents. A series of edible oleoresins will be discussed, including anis, caraway, carrot seed, citrus peels, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenougreek, hops, laurel leaf, marjoram Spanish, origanum, paprika, pepper, peppermint, rosemary and thyme. Their most interesting chemical components will be mentioned. The characterimpact volatile constituents will be shown.Some important non-volatile tasting, coloring and antioxidative compounds will be treated. The organoleptic quality of the edible oleoresins will be discussed in more detail.