Extract is a concentrated preparation of certain substances obtained from plants, herbs, flowers, or animal tissues. Extracts are widely used as flavorings in cooking. Popular flavoring extracts include almond, lemon, mint, and vanilla extracts. Extracts are also used in cosmetics, medicines, and perfumes.
Several methods are used to prepare extracts. For example, orange extract is obtained by pressing or squeezing orange rinds, which contain flavorful oils. Vanilla extract is made by soaking crushed vanilla beans in an alcohol and water mixture. Meat extracts are produced by boiling meat in liquid and then reducing the cooking liquid to a paste by evaporation.
Many drugs are extracted from plants. For example, morphine, a painkiller, comes from the opium poppy. Cosmetic extracts, called essences, are used in perfume, soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. They include ambergris, benzoin, castor, musk, and balsam.