Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil is the essence extracted from the fruits of the three varieties Feminella, Castagnaro, and Fantastico, belonging to the Citrus bergamia Risso species, commonly known as bergamot.
The production area of Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil covers the municipalities located within a range of about 100 km along the Ionian coast of the province of Reggio Calabria, in the Calabria region.
Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil is extracted from fruits that possess certain characteristics, such as moderately thin peel adhering to the flesh, smooth and sometimes slightly rough surface, lemon-yellow color; relatively firm pale green-yellow flesh; and a sour and bitter taste. The planting density should not exceed 450 plants per hectare, while the maximum allowable yield of bergamot for the specified varieties is 400 quintals per hectare. Fruit harvesting is done manually. It starts in November and continues until March, specifically when the color of the fruits begins to change from green to yellow. After this process, the fruits are placed in appropriate containers to be transported to processing industries. Oil extraction is carried out using the cold-pressed method. This procedure involves the use of a specific peeling machine that employs only pressurized and nebulized water. Centrifugation is used to separate the extracted oil from the processing water. The oil yield from this production phase should range from 350 to 750 grams per quintal of fruit. The obtained oil is collected in stainless steel containers with a capacity ranging from 1 to 4 tons.
Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil presents itself in liquid form. It has a clear appearance, sometimes with solid sediment. The color varies from green to greenish-yellow. The scent, pleasant and fresh, resembles that of the bergamot's pericarp.
The most plausible hypothesis about the origin of the bergamot fruit suggests that it originated from the spontaneous mutation of other species such as bitter orange or lime, occurring at the end of the 17th century in the territory now associated with the current production area, namely the province of Reggio Calabria. However, the success of bergamot essence is attributed to Gian Paolo Feminis, who, after emigrating to Cologne in 1680, created an ointment called "acqua admirabilis." Cologne waters trace their origin back to this ancient essence, as Feminis' heirs patented the product using the name of the German city. Since then, bergamot has remained one of the fundamental essential products in the perfume industry.
Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil is used in the cosmetic industry, where it is employed not only to fix the aromatic bouquet of perfumes but also to harmonize other contained essences. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is mainly utilized for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, especially in dentistry and gynecology. The essence finds numerous applications in other sectors as well, such as pipe tobacco, candied fruits, and tea. In recent years, the product has been successfully used in tanning lotions with the addition of sunblock.
The product is introduced into the market year-round under the label Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil, in suitable barrels of 25, 50, 100, and 180 kilograms, or in glass containers.
The persistence of bouquet fixation in perfumes that utilize Reggio Calabria Bergamot - PDO Essential Oil can exceed 24 hours, which is longer compared to products fixed with synthetic oils that last for 3-4 hours.