Argan oil

The different argan oils

The various culinary, cosmetic or therapeutic uses of argan oil have gradually allowed it to find a place among large kitchens or small French family tables as well as in beauty salons.

Food argan oil

Composed of approximately 80% digestible essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated acids including vitamin E and a high antioxidant level, it reduces blood cholesterol and triglycerides and prevents atherosclerosis.

Recommended by many dieticians, rarely cooked, it will pleasantly flavor salads with its nutty taste.

Traditional tasting

Among the inhabitants of the Atlas and Souss, it will be served with tea, bread cakes and honey as a token of welcome and hospitality.

Also, you will be offered amlou, a wonderful blend of argan oil, crushed almonds and honey…

Cosmetic argan oil

Whether in gel, milk, cream or soap, argan oil facilitates skin hydration and regeneration. Very effective against the drying out and the ageing of this one, it also strengthens the nails.

shampoo, ideal for dry hair, it promotes hair shine. In the Moroccan pharmacopoeia, argan oil is used against acne, rheumatism, chapping and burns.

The Argan tree

Known botanists, from the eleventh century, for its fruit qualities as fodder and forest, the argan is characterized by a gnarled trunk and thorny branches.

The multiple use of the argan tree has been known for a very long time by the population of the countries that rub shoulders with it.

Its foliage, in addition to generously ameliorate the soil, provides an excellent aerial fodder with goats and dromedaries reveling.

The very hard wood of the argan tree, called ” ironwood ”, provides so much appreciated firewood that it is one of the causes of its gradual disappearance. Its texture and compactness are highly appreciated for the manufacture of tools, carpentry and fuel.

The vast root system of the argan tree fully meets the soil requirements of these areas that it protects from desertification, and erosions due to sometimes torrential rains and often rushing Atlantic winds, avoiding the silting up of coastal plots.

A rich fruit

As for the fruits, a berry formed of a pulp and a nucleus, they offer us an extraordinary oil, known and savored since ancient times for its taste, medicinal and cosmetic qualities.

The fruit is a yellow olive sometimes veined with red, of variable shape, less elongated than an olive and very pointed at its end.

It contains a nut which itself contains two to three almonds from which the oil will be extracted.

Special picking

Fruit picking, laborious work, is traditionally done by women between the months of July and September.

The long spines of the argan sometimes preventing a direct picking, it is then necessary to wait until they reach maturity to be simply collected on the ground.

A second method is to let graze freely herds, dromedaries, goats, sheep in the middle of argan trees. Once the fruit pulp is ingested and the cores are rejected, they will be recovered from the sheepfolds or pastures. It is to this end that goats are allowed to climb and wander in the foliage.

Under ideal conditions, they can be kept for up to five years, but they are increasingly sold quickly to cooperatives who carry out the various steps necessary to manufacture their oil.

job creator around cooperatives

Traditionally made, the preparation of argan oil is an exclusively female work.

Long and tedious artisanal process was once performed by isolated women in their homes. These are now often grouped into cooperatives, making this work more enjoyable and the oil less rare.

These cooperatives, supported by associations or charities, if they guarantee Berber women to have a stable job coupled with a substantial financial independence, also save argan trees whose disappearance would be disastrous for local ecosystems.

The manufacturing process

Once dried the fruits are pulped on a stone, this pulp being used as food for camels and goats.

The delicate crushing arrives. This harassing work is often done with two stones used to break the nuts to recover the kernels without breaking them. There, the hulls will be used as fuel for roasting.

Roasting for food argan oil

Later, they will be roasted or not, depending on their culinary or cosmetic use. Serving for gastronomy, there will be roasting. This one will give a generous and dark oil, with the pleasant nutty taste. Not roasted, it will keep all the characteristics that will allow the development of a high quality cosmetic oil.

Then, crushed in a stone wheel, it will result a paste of which, once mixed with water will obtain a kind of cake which will then be duly pressed to extract this precious oil after filtering.

Semi-industrial extraction

This patented process in 1985 aims at the development of cosmetic argan oil.

The traditional argan oil, very colorful, with a strong taste and delicate storage, does not meet the needs of the cosmetics industry.

In the semi-industrial process, the extraction is carried out using a solvent after crushing unroasted kernels.

This action also has the effect of eliminating the taste and smell, thus making it compatible with the various components used in a cosmetic preparation. The oil produced will then be decanted for 15 days and then filtered before being transformed.

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