Menthol From Mint Oil


A premier technology providing institution for indeginously developed technologies is offering technology for menthol from mint oil. Menthol is a monocyclic, saturated secondary terpence alcohol. In nature it occurs as l - menthol, but the former has commercial application. It has a distinct peppermint flavour. When placed on the tongue the material imparts a biting sensation and slightly bitter taste followed by a pleasant feeling of cold. It finds application in various pharmaceutical formulations and in condiment industry. The demand of menthol both in India and abroad has increased substantially due to increase in the cosmetic products. The econimics of menthol production greatly depends on the availability of mint oil which again depends on the cultivation of the herb and extraction of the oil by steam distillation.


Menthol is generally obtained by chilling mint oil and subsequent centrifuging to separrate out the menthol crystals. The process may be divided into two steps, firstly menthol flakes are produced by chilling mint oil and secondrly menthol flakes mixed with mint oil again chilled to produce bold crystals of menthol. The total recovery of menthol in the first step is around 70%. The time cycle for first step is around 6-7 days. In the second stepm, menthol flakes mixed with certain proportion of mint oil kept under temperature control for about 25 days. The mother liquor (conc. mint oil) is a bye product and can be used again till decolourisation of oil occurs. Total recovery of bold menthol crystals is about 50%.

Product specification

The product obtained conforms to Indian standard specification IS: 3134-1965, which states that the product shall be colourless, acicular or prismatic crystals with a peppermint like odour.

Main Application

Chemical Industry

For further information please contact

Technology Bureau for Small Enterprises
APCTT Building, Qutub Institutional Area
P.O. Box - 4575
New Delhi - 110016
Tel: 91-26864501, 26856276, 2696619/521
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