The production of argan oil by traditional methods before
modern times, the Berbers (also known as
the Imazighen) of Morocco would collect undigested
argan pits from the waste of goats which climb the trees to
eat their fruit. The pits were then ground and pressed to
make the nutty oil used in cooking and cosmetics. However,
the oil used in cosmetic and culinary products available for
sale today has most likely been harvested directly from the
tree and processed with machines.
of the kernels is key to the argan oil production process.
In order to extract the kernels, the argan fruits are first
dried in the open air and then the fleshy pulp of
the fruit is removed. Sometimes the flesh is removed
mechanically without the need to dry the fruits. The flesh
is usually used as feed for animals.
The next stage involves cracking the
argan nut to obtain the argan kernels. Attempts to
mechanize this process have been unsuccessful and therefore
it is still carried out by hand, making it a time-consuming
and labour-intensive process.
Kernels used to make argan oil for food use,
culinary argan oil, are then gently roasted.
After the argan kernels have cooled down, they are ground
and pressed. The brown-colored mash expels
pure, unfiltered argan oil. After this, unfiltered
argan oil is decanted into vessels. The press
cake remaining after the argan oil has been expelled
is protein-rich and is frequently used as feed for cattle.
Cosmetic argan oil is produced almost
identically, although the argan kernels are not roasted
to avoid an excessively nutty scent.
After pressing, the argan oil is decanted and
left to rest for approximately two weeks. This allows solids
suspended in the argan oil to settle to the bottom, creating
a natural sediment. The clearer argan oil may then be further
filtered depending on the clarity and degree of purity required.
Pure argan oil may contain some sediment. This is
a natural part of the production process and does not affect
the quality of the argan oil.
Depending on the method of extraction and the
original quality of the oil