Peppermint Oil, Mentha piperita, was one of the first essential oils produced in Tasmania in the late 1970’s. The Australian peppermint crop is based upon Mitcham varieties of Mentha piperita that were introduced into Australia. The Australian crop of oil is harvested in January to March each year and a volatile oil is produced by steam distillation on farm-site. Crops are regularly inspected and production methods are tightly controlled. All oils are then redistilled under pressure (rectified) to remove unwanted odours and flavours and to standardise the oil.
The mints will grow in a wide range of climates as shown by their popularity in home gardens all over Australia. Ideally, they require plenty of sun, growing best in the long midsummer days of the higher latitudes. For this reason, the Australian mint industry has developed mostly in Tasmania, particularly for oil production. Ideal growing temperatures for mint are warm sunny days (25°C) and cool nights (15°C). This is why, in the hotter climates, mint generally grows better in the more shaded areas of the garden.
This oil is used in wide range of applications such as toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, confectionary and as a flavouring agent in food. The oil may also be used in cosmetics and aromatherapy. The oil is used in the confectionery, food flavouring, cosmetic and aromatherapy industries
Peppermint oil is a new addition to the Australian essential oils family. Golden Grove Naturals is working in close proximity with the farmers to aid in the development of the product. At present, Australia produces a low quantity of the oil and is not a major contributor in the global market. But the equation is expected to change in the coming years with a sustained rise in production.
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