Argania (Berber: ⴰⵔⴳⴰⵏ Argan) is a genus of flowering plants containing the sole species Argania spinosa, known as argan, a tree endemic to the calcareous semidesert Sous valley of southwestern Morocco. Argan trees grow to 8–10 m (26–33 ft) high and live up to approximately 200 years. They are thorny, with gnarled trunks and wide spreading crown. The crown has a circumference of about 70 m (230 ft) and the branches lean towards the ground.
The leaves are small, 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long, and oval with a rounded apex. The flowers are small, with five pale yellow-green petals; flowering is in April. The fruit is 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.18 in) broad, with a thick, bitter peel surrounding a sweet-smelling but unpleasantly flavored layer of pulpy pericarp. This surrounds the very hard nut, which contains one (occasionally two or three) small, oil-rich seeds. The fruit takes over a year to mature, ripening in June to July of the following year.
As a rare and endangered species, the argan forest was declared an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998.
ANZA TRADE offers two range of argan oil: Cosmetic Argan oil or Culinary Argan oil.
The TASK of Extracting Argan Oil:
The oil extraction is a 4 levels operation:
- collecting the fruit: Between June and August, the women harvest and gather the fruit by hand. This fruit is dried for approximately one month in the sun by spreading the fruit on the rooves of mud-brick houses.
- Cracking the nuts: Crushing Argan nuts to obtain Argan kernels (seeds). The nuts are crushed between two stones BY HAND!
- Grinding the kernel: at ANZA TRADE, we use “cold pressing method”, slowly extracting the oil from the kernel, to best preserve the oil’s natural medicinal features.
- Filtration: this operation is the most preserved steps at ANZA TRADE, we give the oil the necessary time to rest and filter slowly. A dedicated old lady is watching this operation in a closer way to be sure that the oil reached its maturity and getting ready to be conditioned.
|Fatty composition of argan oil|
|Saturated fatty |
acid Stearic acid
|16–20 % |
|Moro unsaturated fatty acids |
|Poly unsaturated fatty acids|
Alpha linoleic acid