Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO is an essential oil extracted from the fruit of three varieties of bergamot belonging to the Citrus bergamia Risso species: Femminello, Castagnaro and Fantastico.
The production area of Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO is within the territory of the municipal areas situated in a range of 100 km of the Ionian Coast in the Province of Reggio Calabria, in the Calabria region.
Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO is extracted from fruit which present determined characteristics: moderately thin skin attached to the flesh, with a smooth or slightly rough surface and a lemon yellow colour; fairly consistent flesh with a pale greenish-yellow colour; tart and bitter taste. The density of the plantation must not exceed 450 plants per hectare, while the maximum authorised yield of bergamot for the listed varieties is 400 quintals per hectare. The fruits are harvested when they begin to turn from green to yellow; they are harvested by hand, starting in November and ending any time up to the end of March. The fruit are placed in special containers to be transported to the factories for transformation. The “cold pressed” method is used to extract the oil, for which a specific peeling machine is used; the machine only uses water pressure or a spray. The liquid is then centrifuged to separate the oil from water. This stage must produce an oil yield of between 350 and 750 g per quintal of fruit. The oil is collected in stainless steel recipients with a capacity of between 1 and 4 tons.
Appearance and Flavour
Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO has a liquid form, which is clear and at times containing solid sediment. The colour varies from green to greenish yellow and the aroma is pleasant and fresh, reminiscent of the pericarp of bergamot.
The most probable hypothesis on the origins of the bergamot fruit is that it derives from the spontaneous mutation of other species, such as the bitter orange or lime, which came about at the end of the XVII century in the area that is now known as Reggio Calabria. The success of bergamot oil is attributed to Italian born Gian Paolo Feminis, who emigrated to Cologne in 1680 and created aqua admirabilis, still one of the most appreciated and used essences today. Eau di Cologne in fact originates from this ancient essence and the heirs of Feminis patented the product with the name of the German city. Since then, bergamot has remained one of the basic essential oils for the creation of perfumes.
Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO is indispensable in the perfume industry, where it is utilised not only for fixing the aromatic bouquet of the perfumes, but also to harmonise the other essences, bringing out the fresh and fragrant notes. The essence is also used in the pharmaceutical industry for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, especially in dentistry and gynaecology. In the food and confectionary industry it is used as an aroma for liqueurs, sweets and beverages. The essence is also used in numerous ways in other sectors, for example in pipe tobacco, candid fruit and tea. More recently, Bergamot essence has been used with great success in tanning products.
The product is marketed as Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO. It is sold as an essential oil in small glass bottles or in special kegs of 25, 50, 100 and 180 kg.
The persistence of the bouquet in perfumes that use Bergamotto di Reggio Calabria - Olio essenziale PDO can last more than 24 hours and is greater in respect to those which are fixed with synthetic oils, which only last for 3-4 hours.