The Prospect of Indonesian Essential Oils Industry

Hardjono Sastrohamidjojo
Professor in Organic Chemistry/Essential oil of the Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences,
Universitas Islam Indonesia, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Indonesia is major producer of several essential oils. These products such as citronella oil, clove leaf oil, cannanga oil, vetiver oil, and patchouli oil are exported mostly to USA and Europe. Indonesia does not use these oils for own chemical processing. Apparently until now there is little interest for the conversion of raw materials to more valuable products. In fact by selling these oils money is readily obtained but on other hand much money is spent for buying products from abroad that are produced from these oils. Much literature exists on the importance of essential oils including their utilization. Some essential oils can be used as such in perfume compositions, for example, cannanga oil, vetiver oil and patchouli oil, but others such as citronella oil, clove leaf oil, peppermint oil and turpentine can better be processed first;  furthermore their chemical modification leads to valuable products. As far as we know there is still little experience in Indonesia concerning the processing of essential oils and their utilization, also the analysis methods used for quality controls are old-fashioned. We hope that our work stimulates the interest in chemical processing of essential oils and results in better production methods, greater skill and greater demand for labors. We are convinced that stronger ties between industry and universities are mutually advantageous and beneficial for the country. New industrial activities can emerge from university research.

Keywords: Essential oils, valuable products, industry