Bergamot oil is obtained by cold pressing the peel of the bergamot fruit (Citrus bergamia, Risso et Poiteau). The bergamot tree is cultivated mainly for its valuable oil, which constitutes an important raw material for the cosmetic and food industries.
In Italy, the cultivation of bergamot is limited approximately 2,000 hectares in a narrow strip of the Calabrian coast along the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas.
Bergamot’s harvest and industrial processing period is usually from December to March. Three cultivars are used for the production of the bergamot oil: Fantastico, Castagnaro and Femminello. Nowadays, Fantastico represents about 90% of bergamot oil production.