Davana Oil is one of the important essential oils. Essential oils obtained from higher plants are important raw materials used for the manufacture of perfumes, flavours and cosmetics. Even with considerable development in production of synthetic perfumery and flavouring chemicals, essential oils continue to be the important raw materials for these industries through out the world. The general realisation of health hazards associated with the synthetic material has led to increased use of natural raw materials, especially for high grade perfumes and flavours.
Such natural raw material should be more important for future industrial development in the third world, as production of these materials does not depend upon the traditional sources of energy - like petroleum or coal, but the oils are obtained from renewable energy sources.
In view of its wide variety of climate and soil, India is one of the few countries in the world, where all the major essential oils used in perfumery, cosmetics or flavour industries can be produced in one or the other regions of the country.
There are around 2000 species of medicinal and aromatic plans that have been reported in India.
The botanical name of Davana is Artemisia pallens. It is known as Davana or Davanam in Tamil, Marathi and Kannada.
During the last decade, the essential oils from leaves and flavours of Artemisia have received much commercial attention due to their use in the perfumery and in medicine.
Indian Standard Institutions has not prescribed any specification for Davana oil. However, the range of some values obtained by the analysis of a recent sample of Davana oil in CIMAP Laboratory are given below.
Range in physicochemical characteristics of Davana oil produced in South India.
Colour : Clear, brownish yellow liquid
Odour : Very rich lingering fruity odour
Refractive index : 1.4794 to 1.4917 at 25 deg. C
Specific gravity : 0.9394 to 0.9560 at 25 deg.C
Acid Value : Less than 3.5
Ester value : 31.5 to 46.5
Solubility : Clearly soluble in less than 1.5 volumes of 80% ethyl alcohol
Total ketone content : 36 to 56% expressed as davanone
Free davanone as per GC : 25 to 52.5%.
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