Argan oil, in Arabic أركان, is a special vegetable oil that is used for both cosmetic and culinary purposes. Argan oil is so special that this oil has the nickname ‘ Moroccan Gold ‘.
Many generations ago the Berber women in Morocco discovered Argan oil. Centuries later, the Berber women still use argan oil for their beauty. Only since the beginning of this century have other parts of the world been acquainted with the special effect of Moroccan gold.
A unique effect
The name ‘ Moroccan gold ‘ indicates exactly what the value of Argan oil is. Thanks to the special composition of argan oil, this oil has a very positive result on both skin and hair. The positive properties of argan oil are not comparable with any other oil. This is why more and more women want to benefit from the benefits of Argan oil. Read more about the special properties here.
Grows only in Morocco
The argan tree can only grow in Moroccan soil. After many unsuccessful attempts to grow the tree outside of Morocco, it became clear that only the dry soil in the warm south Morocco was suitable. Argan oil is therefore produced exclusively in this mountainous region of Morocco. Moreover, it is a time-consuming process to win the Argan oil from the fruits of the argan trees in. This makes Argan oil scarce as gold.
Tree of Beauty
The official name of the Argan trees in is Argania spinosa. This rare tree is also called ‘ The Tree of Beauty ‘. Not only because the tree has special properties, but also because it is a beautiful, prickly tree.
Argania spinosa trees are one of the oldest tree species that bear fruit. According to botanists, the tree has been around for 25 million years.
20 million argan trees
At an altitude of about 1000 meters, 20 million argan trees are currently growing. With this relatively small number the Argania spinosa is an endangered tree species. The Argan trees in is about 10 meters high and has trunk sections up to 15 meters depth. The roots of the tree grow up to 30 meters deep. The Argan trees in can be 125 to 450 years old. After about 15 to 25 years the argan trees in gives off his first fruits and only after 40 to 60 years the tree comes to fruition.
Adapted to desert area
The soil in the dry, inhospitable semi-desert area of Morocco is extremely suitable for the strong argan trees in. The tree has adapted not only to the drought, but also to the heat. The temperature in this area can reach up to 45 degrees in the summer.
The Argan trees in thrives best if it is completely left alone. The tree cannot tolerate pesticides and does not even need watering or feeding. he result: organic and pure argan fruits. Patience is required, because the tree only yields fruit every year. The rarity of the trees and the long growth and production process ensure that argan oil is rare, exclusive and therefore costly.
The nuts of the fruit
In the fruits that grow on the argan trees in, Moroccan gold is hiding. The fruits resemble green olives, but are larger and rounder in shape. Once the fruits are ripe, they get a yellow color. The argan fruit contains a hard argan nut. Each nut contains 2 to 3 almond-shaped seeds. Argan oil can then be extracted from these seeds. The argan oil that comes from these seeds has a golden yellow color. The oil has a mild nut scent and the taste is somewhat like walnuts.
The traditional production process
The traditional process goes as follows. The fruits are picked up by Berber women, collected and stripped of the pulp. Then the nuts are split by hand and two stones, requiring a lot of force. The seeds are released when the argan nut is split. Pressing the oil from these kernels is a very labor-intensive process.
One argan tree yields about 30 kilos of seeds per harvest season. This may sound like a lot, but this amount is only good for extracting one liter of pure argan oil.