About Argan Oil
The Argan tree: The tree of life
The precious Argan Oil is produced from the seeds of the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa), which only grows in south-western Morocco. The Argan tree can live 150 to 200 years and produces its yellow (plum-like) fruits every other year during the dry months (July till September). UNESCO has certified the Argan tree forests that spread over 1,970,000 acres throughout the semi-desert. The 30 meter long roots of the Argan tree sends water deep into the ground rather than leaving it to dry on the surface, which is important in preventing the desert from advancing further and destroying livelihoods.
The Argan tree itself is a multi-use tree and plays a significant part in Moroccan life:
- provides shade for people and other plants (crops etc.).
- the leaves and pulp is used as food for cattle.
- the roots maintain the soil by fertilising and protecting it from erosion.
- the nuts are used for Argan Oil and provide jobs for more than three million people, mostly in rural areas.
Producing Argan Oil
Our partner cooperatives use Argan fruits that have been protected from animals, as this is a vital step in achieving the best quality and tastiest Argan Oil.
How to produce 1 litre of rare Argan Oil:
- About 30kg of Argan fruit (the complete harvest of one tree) must be collected.
- The Argan fruits are then dried over several weeks, before they are opened to gather the nuts.
- The Argan nuts are 16x harder than a hazelnut and their opening requires skilful hands to obtain one kernel within the nut (if you are lucky, up to three kernels!).
- For culinary use, the Argan kernels are roasted according to a family secret to unlock a wonderful aroma and taste.
- Lastly, the Argan kernels are either cold-pressed manually ('traditional') or mechanically ('classic') to produce delicious Argan Oil.
Nutritional properties of Argan Oil
Argan Oil is not only greatly appreciated for its deliciously nutty taste and versatile dressing application, it is also valued for its high Vitamin E content and unsaturated fatty acids.
- Vitamin E, also called tocopherols, comes in different forms: vitamin E α-Tocopherol, β-Tocopherol, δ-Tocopherol and γ-Tocopherol.
- Argan Oil is particularly rich in natural γ-Tocopherol. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E- γ interrupts the propagation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by biological stress mechanisms (e.g. UV radiation from excessive sun exposure) and therefore contributes to the protection from low level of inflammation and tissue ageing.
- Helps to protect the skin against UV damage.
- Anti-inflammatory properties help in wound healing.