How Is Argan Oil Made?

Argan oil is a plant oil, extracted from the kernels of the argan tree. Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree. It has been used for centuries by Moroccan women due to its beauty and health properties.

The fruits of the Argan tree ripen in July and August. The women in Morocco are involved in the collection of the fruits of the argan tree. While some are gathered from the ground, others are picked from the tree. The fruits are dried in the sun before their flesh can be removed. The outer part is used in the production of animal feeds which are fed to the large flocks of goats that they keep.

The argan fruit has a fleshy, green exterior like an olive, but is larger and rounder. Inside, there is a nut with an extremely hard shell. Nut conatin 1-3 almond-shaped kernels.

For ages extracting oil was done manually, by grinding kernels into paste and then kneaded paste by hand to extract the oil. Few cooperatives are still using traditional manual methods of extracting the oil, but is a lengthy process that takes up to 20 hours of work to produce 1l of argan oil.

As the hand removal procedure is extremely demanding and time consuming today cooperatives use machinery in the production of argan oil which simplifies the work and lower the price of oil. Machine extracting also makes the product more hygienic and of better quality as no water is added.

However, still each nut has to be cracked open to remove the kernels. The women use sharp rounded stone to crack the shells. The raw kernels are crushed until create a paste. From paste oil is cold-pressed.

Some parts of the oil production process, like harvesting and cracking nuts, are still done by hand, but the oil extraction and filtering is done by using modern machinery.

Argan is extremely important both culturally and environmentally. Oil production gives jobs to 3 million people in Morocco.

The production of argan oil is done only by women, who are organized into Cooperatives. Cooperatives are established in order to reduce feminized poverty, educate women and help them build more capacity for business.