Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is a species of mint originally native to Turkey and the Balkans. It grows well in many temperate climates and has a sweet and refreshing flavour. It is a small bushy plant, which it is visually similar to peppermint with lilac flowers. However, spearmint flowers do not contain any menthofuran, which is one of the key differentiators between spearmint and peppermint.
Spearmint was used by the ancient Egyptians and by the Romans who introduced it into the UK, and by the 14th century, its use was widespread in culinary and pharmaceutical applications. Today spearmint essential oil is produced globally with major production in the US, India and China. The leaves are steam distilled in a similar manner to peppermint oil.
As reported by Persistence Market Research, “The global spearmint oil market is expected to show an incremental opportunity of US$ 123.5 million by 2027 over 2018.” Due to Europe’s maturity, North America is expected to dominate the market over the forecast period. It’s health benefits, and opportunities in aromatherapy are key contributors to future growth.
Spearmint has many uses in flavour and pharmaceutical applications owing to its therapeutic benefits. Spearmint is particularly effective in aiding digestive problems and promoting relaxation. It is regarded as a “softer” flavour than peppermint being widely used in oral care and confectionery applications, including breath mints and chewing gum. As reported by Modor Intelligence, “North America is the largest market for mint and breath fresheners, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific.”
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