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Moroccan oil (Argan oil)

alt Argan oil or otherwise known as Moroccan Oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the Argan tree, most indigenous to Morocco, which is valued for its nutritious, cosmetic and other remedial properties. This oil is among the most valued due to its insufficient supply and high demand.

The tree, which has survived from the period of 65 to 1.8 million years ago, has exceedingly well adjusted to drought and other environmentally difficult conditions of southwestern Morocco. Argan tree (Argania spinosa L. Skeels) the above named species once covered North Africa.

The Argan tree grows wild in semi-desert soil, its deep root system helping to protect against harsh environmental changes, having a strong root deep underground has directly affected Argan Tree’s survival abilities in the most disagreeable terrain.

For hundreds of years and prior to the modern age, the native people of Morocco otherwise Known as (Berbers) have collected kernels and used the oils that it holds for many positive cosmetic qualities including Anti- Aging properties, cancer prevention, hair care and skin nourishment. The oil is a rich ointment that can moisturize hair and skin. The unique composition of the argan oil makes it a resource for dietetic and cosmetic usage.

Traditional Extraction

According to the Moroccan age old customs, the oil was prepared manually. Firstly, they remove the outer shell of the Argan fruit, and then spread the bare seeds on the ground to dry under the sun. Once dry, then crushed into dough, with a percentage of water added to make the paste a little thinner to help extract the oil in the final stages. Then almost finally, the mixture is compressed to extract the actual oil within the soggy mass. Further properties are mentioned below:

Mechanical Extraction

As the age of production has improved dramatically since the realization of benefits of the Argan Tree, so has the mechanical extraction of its oils for mass production.

The Oil keeps its good qualities for well over 12 months. Due to mechanical intervention, the dough does not have to be mixed with water as it’s pressed to extract the oil, it is no longer necessary.

All other original steps have remained unchanged when they first started to extract the oil. Furthermore, randomly selected samples, clearly demonstrates that press extraction does not alter either the chemical composition of Argan oil or its physico-chemical characteristics. It also demonstrates that press extraction respects the critical factors reported for traditionally prepared oils and necessary to obtain a beneficial effect on human health (a specific fatty acid balance and high tocopherol and sterol levels).

Properties of Argan Oil

Argan Oil has an ample supply of natural tocopherols (Vitamin E), has plentiful supply of phenols and phenolic acid, rich in carotenes and many other beneficial compounds for a growth of healthy and skin. Compared to many other seasoning oils, Argan oil contains relatively high contents of squalene which is suggested to be protective against skin cancer.

The chemical composition of Argan oil is composed of 99% glyceridic fraction rich in unsaturated fatty acid and 1% of unsaponifiable fraction containing hydrocarbures, carotenes, tocopherols, sterols and polyphenols.

Argan Oil Seeds also known as Morroccan Oil Argan Oil tree or Moroccan Oil Tree