CLARY SAGE ESSENTIAL OIL
Clary Sage oil is extracted by steam distillation of the flowering tops and leaves of Salvia sclarea labiatae. Khush Ingredients provide a product that is natural and not rectified. It is grown in fields in the South of France along the Route de Puimoisson, just outside of the town Valensole. This allows us to give our customers consistency year on year. Our producer also offers small quantities of Organic Clary Sage.
French Clary Sage has a different chemical profile to other regions. French is higher in linalyl acetate whereas Russian material has higher levels of minor esters. Chinese is somewhere in between. So if you are unsure, please do ask us for a sample.
All products with high levels of linalyl acetate improve with controlled airing and have a long shelf life. Material is more stable after 6 months of airing and happily will retain it’s quality for at least five years from harvest.
The French Clary Sage has two types of production. We favour the harvesting of dried biomass, but there is also a technique to harvest a few weeks earlier and process a part dried biomass which gives greener notes. This year the harvest of Clary Sage happened in July, 6 weeks later than 2018 harvest because of the cold temperature in the Mediterranean over Spring. It is only once the flowers start to dry, and 3 of the 4 anthers have turned brown in colour, the crop is ready for harvest.
Photo: Clary Sage growing in the fields, just before flowers start to emerge
Photo: Here 1 of 4 anthers are brown meaning harvest is roughly one month away
Since the anthers have mostly turned brown at this point, there is with very little purple left in the field. Using the combine harvester (pictured below), the upper parts of the plant are put straight into the (American) container. This is then transported to the field distillation facility for steam distillation.
Photo: Harvesting Clary Sage July 2019
Photo: (American) Container
The biomass is not re-handled once returned from the field. It is simply steamed through pipes within the (American) container it was collected in (pictured above). The vapourised oil is transported into condensers where separation of the essential oil from the water occurs. The biomass left behind is not discarded but composted, ready to be used as fertiliser on the fields after 2 years (see below).
Photo: Biomass turned into fertiliser
Photo: Condenser at field distillation
After is has been condensed, the essential oil is then taken to the receiving factory where it is analysed and stored in a 2 tonne stainless steel dedicated storage vessel. It is air rated in dry conditions until the oil has fully stabilised. Once fully stabilised, the oil is transferred into an IBC and nitrogen over-packed. Clary Sage oil is best used 6 – 36 months after harvesting but if stored in good conditions can be used after 5 years or more.
Photo: 2 tonne stainless steel storage vessel
The goods are then packed for shipment using a 25 micron food grade filter into export containers and shipped to Khush Ingredients. We normally supply our customers in the same containers, sealed in Provence, and provided in beautiful, perfect condition.
Stabilised 2018 material is available from stock.
2019 material will be available in September.
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