Standardized extract from the basil plant (Ocimum basilicum L.).
More than 60 species belong to the genus of basil plants (botanical genus Ocimum). The basil group itself belongs to the family of the labiate family, whose members (including some trees, shrubs and lianas) are often characterized by a high content of essential oils. The name refers to the ancient Greek word "basileús ", which means "king". The herb grows in warm to temperate climates, usually reaching heights between 30 and 50 cm. Since it needs a lot of heat and does not cope well with low temperatures, it requires a warm to moderate climate in the field. The cultivation areas extend from Africa to southern Europe and India.
Like other oleoresins, basil oleoresin is obtained from finely chopped plant parts, often mixed with a solvent. The solvent is then evaporated or the oleoresin concentrated by distillation. What remains is the pure oleoresin of the plant. This must be diluted in the further course of the process, because many substances are naturally unhealthy or poisonous to humans if they are not diluted beforehand.
Use in the kitchen
Especially as a spice basil is very popular today because of its strong, aromatic taste. It is also an important ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. It goes perfectly with tomatoes, olive oil and lemons. Soups, sauces and salads can also be refined with basil. The leaves do not tolerate heat, little acidity and as soon as they are cut, they quickly start to oxidize. Basil is best eaten raw; in sauces or as pesto in combination with oil. One of the most famous recipes with basil is Pizza Margherita, which is topped in the italian colours with fresh green basil, mozzarella and tomatoes. Also popular is Pesto Genovese, which is made with olive oil, ground pine nuts, parmesan and crushed basil. But basil or basil oleoresin is also used in spice mixtures and oil preparations and provides a pleasant taste profile. Basil and other herbs are currently very popular again in the beverage industry and are used a lot in soft drinks and alcoholic beverages to flavor them and provide a pleasant fresh taste.
Basil is not only used in the kitchen. It is also used in care products for skin and hair due to its properties and the pleasant taste or smell.