Argan oil is a highly prized oil derived from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree (Argania spinosa). It has gained worldwide acclaim for its numerous skin, hair, and overall health benefits.
What Is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is a natural derived from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree (Argania spinosa). In addition, locals and tourists call it “liquid gold” because of its rich golden color and numerous beneficial properties. For centuries, Moroccans have used it for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes.
Argan oil contains a variety of beneficial components, including essential fatty acids (like oleic and linoleic acids), antioxidants (like vitamin E and phenols), carotenoids, and squalene. These compounds help it be nourishing, moisturizing, and protective.
The production of Argan oil?
The production of argan oil goes through several steps. The process of making argan oil happens in the native cities of argan trees in Morocco. The process of making it is as follows.
- Harvesting: The process begins with the harvesting of the argan fruit, which grows on the argan tree (Argania spinosa). When ripe, the fruit resembles a large olive and changes color from green to yellow or reddish. Harvesting usually takes place between June and August.
- Fruit Preparation: The local people harvest and collect the fruits. Later on, they remove the outer fleshy pulp, leaving behind the hard nut-like shell. The pulp is frequently fed to animals or used as organic matter for soil improvement.
- Kernel Extraction: To reveal the kernels that are inside the local people crack the hard shell. However, only skilled workers do this operation using stones or wooden tools. The workers do the extraction process in a careful way to avoid damaging the kernels inside, the extraction process.
- Roasting (Optional): If customers want a certain flavor and aroma of the oil, the workers can roast the extract kernels before pressing. Roasting the kernels improves the nutty flavor and gives the oil a darker color. However, some producers prefer to use unroasted kernels for a milder taste and lighter color.
- Grinding: The workers ground the kernels into a paste using traditional grinding stones. The grinding process aids in the extraction of oil from the kernels.
- Pressing: The local people pressed the groundpaste to extract the argan oil. Furthermore, traditionally, local people used to use a stone press to press the paste to extract the oil. However, today workers use mechanical presses because it provides more time.
- Settling and Filtration: After pressing, the workers settle the argan oil to allow any sediments or impurities to separate from the oil. Later on, they filter the argan oil to remove any remaining particles, to get a clear and pure final product.
How Much Does Argan Oil Cost?
Argan oil is widely regarded as a premium and relatively expensive oil. its prices can vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- Quality: More expensive than lower-quality or diluted argan oil is a higher-quality, pure, and organic one. Cold-pressed and unrefined one is the highest quality.
- Production Method: Argan oil produced using traditional, labor-intensive methods tends to have a higher price due to the manual labor involved. Handcrafted oils made by cooperatives or using traditional techniques can be more expensive compared to oils produced through more mechanized processes.
- Certification: Argan oil with certifications such as Ecocert, USDA Organic, or Fair Trade may be slightly more expensive due to the additional requirements and standards associated with these certifications.
- Packaging and Brand: Argan oil’s packaging and brand can also affect its price. Some premium brands or those with distinctive packaging may be more expensive.
Overall, the price for 1 liter of argan oil might be between 80$ and 200$.
Why Is Argan Oil So Expensive?
Argan oil is relatively expensive due to several factors that contribute to its production, including limited supply and high demand. Here are some of the reasons why argan oil costs more than other oils:
Labor-Intensive Production: Argan oil production is a labor-intensive process that involves several manual steps. It begins with the hand-harvesting of argan fruits, followed by the extraction of the kernels from the hard shells. Moreover, the use of grinding stones to get the kernels makes it hard to get a high quantity of argan oil. Also, the only way to extract the oil is by pressing. This labor-intensive process necessitates skilled labor and raises production costs.
Limited Geographical Region: Argan trees grow only in a specific region of Morocco, primarily in the country’s southwest. The argan tree is endemic to this region, and cultivation is restricted to certain climate and soil conditions. The trees’ limited geographic distribution further limits the supply of argan oil, making it a relatively rare commodity.
Scarcity of Argan Trees: The argan tree population has faced challenges due to factors such as deforestation, overgrazing, and climate change. The slow growth of argan trees, as well as their low fruit yield, contribute to the limited supply of argan oil. Moroccans and the government are working hard to protect and sustainably manage the argan tree population, but its scarcity contributes to the higher cost of the oil.
High Demand: Argan oil has grown in popularity worldwide, particularly in the beauty and cosmetics industries. Its numerous skin, hair, and nail benefits have resulted in a surge in demand. In addition, its prices are rising due to rising demand and limited supply.
How To Use Argan Oil?
Argan oil is a versatile oil that can be used in a variety of ways, including skincare, haircare, and even cooking. Here are some of the most common uses and applications of this kind:
Moisturizer: Gently massage a few drops of argan oil into clean, dry skin. It can also be used as a stand-alone moisturizer or combined with your regular moisturizer to provide additional hydration.
Facial Serum: Apply a few drops of argan oil to your face as a serum before applying your moisturizer or as a nighttime treatment.
Eye Serum: Apply a drop of argan oil to the skin around the delicate eye area to hydrate and nourish it.
Apply a small amount of argan oil to a cotton pad and gently wipe away makeup.
Lip Balm: Apply a drop of argan oil to your lips to moisturize and protect them from chapping.
Leave-in Conditioner: To moisturize, detangle, and add shine, apply a few drops of argan oil to damp hair, focusing on the ends.
Scalp Treatment: To nourish and hydrate the scalp, massage a small amount of argan oil into it and leave it on for a few hours or overnight before washing your hair.
Controlling Frizz: To tame frizz and flyaways, rub a drop of argan oil between your palms and smooth it over your hair.
Split End Treatment: To repair and prevent split ends, apply a small amount of argan oil to the ends of your hair.
Cuticle and nail care:
Cuticle Oil: Apply a drop of argan to your cuticles to soften and moisturize them.
Nail Strengthener: Apply a small amount to your nails to help them grow stronger and healthier.
Use in the Kitchen:
Culinary argan oil is commonly used as a finishing oil for salads, couscous, grilled vegetables, and other dishes. It has a nutty flavor that complements a variety of dishes.
What Does Argan Oil Taste Like?
Argan oil has a distinctive flavor profile. Culinary argan has a nutty and slightly bitter flavor. The latter is used in cooking and as a finishing oil. It has a rich, earthy flavor that is reminiscent of toasted nuts.
The roasted kernels used in the production process give argan its nutty flavor. Roasting the argan kernels before pressing them improves the oil’s flavor and aroma. However, the producers do not roast all the kernels for oil, and some of them may offer unroasted versions with a milder flavor and lighter color.
Moreover, it can be a finishing oil in culinary applications. In some places, the cookers may drizzle it over salads, couscous, grilled vegetables, or other dishes just before serving to impart its distinct flavor and aroma.
Because argan oil has a strong flavor, it is used sparingly. Begin with a small amount and gradually increase to suit your taste. Argan oil’s distinct flavor adds a special touch to dishes, making it a popular ingredient in Moroccan cuisine and among culinary enthusiasts.
How to Spot Genuine Argan?
Because of the prevalence of counterfeit or adulterated products on the market, identifying genuine oil can be difficult. There are, however, a few key factors to consider in order to identify genuine and high-quality it as follows:
Ingredients: Check the product packaging for an ingredient list. The only ingredient in genuine argan should be “Argania spinosa kernel ” Avoid products with extra additives, fillers, or synthetic ingredients.
Source and Origin: Look for Moroccan-sourced. Authentic argan is traditionally produced in Morocco’s southwestern region, where its tree grows. Examine the product to see if it specifies the origin or says “100% pure Moroccan oil.”
Certification: Look for oil that has been certified by organizations such as Ecocert, USDA Organic, or Fair Trade. These certifications certify that the oil meets specific quality and production standards and provide assurance of its authenticity.
Price: While price alone is not a reliable indicator, genuine argan is generally more expensive due to its labor-intensive manufacturing process and limited supply. If a product’s price appears to be too good to be true or significantly lower than others on the market, it may raise questions about its legitimacy.
Scent and Texture: Genuine argan has a light, nutty scent, and a smooth, non-greasy texture. A rancid or unpleasant odor in the oil may indicate poor quality or adulteration.
Reputation and Reviews: Look for reviews or feedback from other customers about the brand or manufacturer of the oil. Genuine one is more likely to be provided by reputable brands with a transparent sourcing and production process.
Goats on trees
The sight of goats climbing and perching on trees, particularly argan trees, is unique to certain regions of Morocco. This behavior is frequently associated with the fruits of the argan tree, which the goats are drawn to.
Here are some important facts about goats on trees:
Argan trees (Argania spinosa) and goats have a symbiotic relationship. The tree bears fruits with a fleshy pulp surrounding a hard nut. The fruits attract the goats to consume them because they are sweet.
Fruit Consumption: The goats eat the argan tree’s fruits, including the pulp and nuts. They are unable to digest hard nuts, so they pass through the digestive system and are excreted.
Local farmers collect the undigested nuts from goat droppings after the goats have consumed the fruits. its kernels are in these nuts and are used to make it.
Ecological Importance: The presence of goats on argan trees has the potential to benefit the environment. The goats aid in the dispersal of argan seeds by consuming the fruits and depositing the undigested nuts in various locations. This helps the argan tree population regenerate naturally.
The attraction for tourists and photographers: The image of goats perched on argan trees has become an iconic and sought-after sight in certain areas of Morocco. It has become a distinct part of the region’s cultural and natural heritage.
It’s also worth noting that collecting undigested this kind nuts from goat droppings isn’t the most common way to obtain the kernels for production. The majority of its production today relies on manual extraction methods from harvested argan fruits or the use of mechanical extraction methods.