Background Volumetric heating techniques such as ohmic heating have emerged as alternatives to conventional processing methods for diverse applications in the food industry. One of the novel applications of ohmic heating is ohmic-assisted hydrodistillation (OAHD), which utilizes the volumetric heating benefits to overcome traditional distillation shortcomings. This technique proffers benefits such as saving time and energy and has gained increasing interest as a preferred approach for ethanol distillation and essential oil extraction from various plant materials. Scope and approach This paper reviews the principles and current applications of OAHD. The effects of OAHD on process time, energy consumption, and distillate quality are discussed. Considerations for industrial application of OAHD are highlighted and its salient drawbacks are also taken into account. Key findings and conclusions Advantages of OAHD over conventional distillation include high thermal efficiency, short processing time and reduced operational cost. Further research on safety and sustainability along with economic study are prerequisites for commercial application of this technology.