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What color should Orange Essential Oil be?

Lately there has been some controversy in the blogosphere concerning the color of cold pressed/expressed orange oils. Rather than voice opinions in these matters it is wiser to go to the experts on essential oils. According to Arctander there can be wide variations of colors, and these differences are not necessarily an indicator of quality. The colors range from “pale orange-yellow to dark orange” and even “brown orange” on occasion. The maturity of the fruit, the method of expression (hand versus mechanical) and even subspecies and region of harvest can all be factors in color. Arctander explained that Spanish oils could be very dark while other oils can be much lighter. The darker oils can be more desirable in flavor but are less desirable in perfumery because practically all cold pressed citrus contains residue of nonvolatile material. The conclusion based on Arctander is that the standard for orange oil color permits a rather wide variation.