You may have seen or even been using the Argan oil but do you know how this oil is produced? This precious commodity of Morocco has been making the rounds in the west and making its way into the beauty and kitchen cabinets of people all over the world! The reason behind the great buzz on Argan oil is its numerous benefits to the skin, hair, nails and even the body’s health.
This oil earned the nickname of Moroccan miracle oil. This is because of the amazing essential nutrients that is found in the oil. The oil is loaded with Vitamin E, essential unsaturated fatty acids, Squalene, Ferulic acid, phenols and numerous antioxidants that help smoothen skin, prevent skin aging, strengthen hair as well as condition and strengthen nails. The essential fatty acids in the oil is healthy for the heart and also to the brain. Because of its potent antioxidant properties it is an effective defence against harmful agents that damage the cells of the body.
The liquid gold of Morocco is yet another name that this oil is called. This is indeed a precious commodity for the people of Morocco especially the Berber tribe. The Berber tribe has been producing the oil for culinary, medicinal and beauty purposes. After the news about the wonders of this liquid gold of Morocco spread to the west, the oil was highly demanded for. This gave rise to cooperatives in Morocco with women as its employees to produce the liquid gold. This high demand for the oil has been bringing in to the women of Morocco needed finance to support their families.
Traditional Method of Extraction
There are different ways on how the oil is extracted. The oil is extracted from the nut seeds of the fruits of the Argan trees. Traditionally, the Berber women collect the dung of goats to get the seeds that are indegistible. The Argan fruits serve as a food resource for goats. The seeds are then ground and pressed with the use of indigineous tools such as rocks and quern stones. The process of cracking and pressing the seeds for its oil content takes days.
The other traditional way of producing this oil starts with gathering the Argan fruits. The nut inside the fruit is taken out and broken open with a piece of rock to get the seeds out. The seeds are then roasted and ground into thick paste. The Berber women squeeze the paste to extract the precious oil using only their bare hands. Such task is definitely gruelling. Definitely the Berber women deserve a salute for their strength, perseverance and dedication to produce the oil.
Modern Method of Extraction
In the modern method of extracting the liquid gold of Morocco which started in the 1990s, the kernels are powdered and then mechanically pressed to extract the oil. This is definitely a faster method as it takes only 2 hours to extract a litre of oil. The oil produced using this method can last 12 to 18 months.