Terpinyl acetate is found in the essential oils of various sources such as cardamom oil, cajuput oil, pine needle oil and pine oil. The clear colorless liquid has a lemon or lavender odor and is relatively stable, therefore it is commonly used as an aromatic in food flavoring or fragrance.
Terpinyl acetate can be extracted from essential oils such as pine oil, cardamom oil and cajuput oil. The essential oils are recovered through the physical separation process of partial pressure steam distillation, where steam is passed through plant material to separate the essential oil. Further distillation of the essential oil extracts terpininyl acetate from other components in the oil.
A more common manufacturing process for terpinyl acetate is synthesis from alpha-terpineol and acetate anhydride. Catalyst such as concentrated sulphuric acid can be used to drive the reaction. Biocatalysts such as lipases have also be used in place of acids to reduce waste water discharge and equipment corrosion.
Due to its pleasant odor, terpinyl acetate is commonly used in the fragrances of perfumes, cosmetics and personal, home and fabric care products. Because of its physical stability and colourless property, it can be used in up to 30% in content.
Terpinyl acetate is an approved food additive and is used as food flavouring in food and beverages to give lavender and bergamot flavour.