Bitter Orange Oil

Bitter Orange Oil

Bitter orange oil is a type of essential oil extracted from the peels of Bitter oranges (Citrus sinensis). Bitter oranges are a variety of sweet oranges with distinct crimson-colored flesh and a tangy, citrusy flavor.

The oil is obtained through a cold-pressing process, where the outer peel of the fruit is mechanically pressed to release the aromatic and flavorful compounds. This oil contains a concentrated amount of the natural compounds found in Bitter oranges, including limonene, myrcene, and various other terpenes.


Italy has an interesting type of citrus sinensis called ‘Bitter Orange’. Bitter orange is red in colour due to the anthocyanin pigment present (this is also a good anti-oxidant). The oil is unique because of the high carotenoid content and its sweet taste.

The three most common types of Bitter oranges are the Tarocco (native to Italy), the Sanguinello (native to Spain), and the Moro, the newest variety of the three.

The main use for the oil is in beverage markets for its naturally fresh and sweet taste and it has a natural colouring agent to add a redness to any drink. The Italian harvest season runs from February to early May. The typical oil yields are relatively small at around 2.5gm per kilo of fruit.

Additionally, Bitter orange oil has found its way into culinary applications, adding a distinct citrus flavor to various dishes and beverages. It is used as a flavoring agent in desserts, baked goods, cocktails, and salad dressings.

Apart from its pleasant aroma and taste, some people believe Bitter orange oil may have certain health benefits due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s essential to remember that it should be used with caution and not as a replacement for professional medical advice.

As with any essential oil, Bitter orange oil should be properly diluted before use and should not be ingested in large quantities. It’s also recommended to perform a patch test on the skin to check for any allergic reactions before using it more extensively.

In summary, Bitter orange oil is a versatile and fragrant essential oil derived from Bitter oranges, commonly used in perfumes, cosmetics, aromatherapy, and culinary applications.

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