The oil is obtained by steam distillation of fennel seed (Foeniculum officinalis var. dulce, Mill Thell, umbelliferous Apiaceae).
The oil is light yellow (yellow-brown) easily movable liquid with typical scent and sweet (sweet fennel) or bitter (bitter fennel) flavour. The main ingredient of the oil is anethol, followed by methyl-chavicol and fenchone.
These ingredients make the taste of the perennial fennel oil bitter. Hydrocarbons in the oil are 18 by number. The more important of these are α-pinene, citric, γ-terpinene, cis-ocimene, myrcene, p-cymene, etc.
Use: fennel oil has broad use in the food industry, production of alcohol beverages and for the isolation of anethol.