Argan Oil Extraction Process, Techniques, Guide

Argan oil extraction process

Let us discuss today Argan Oil Extraction Methods, Process.

Argan oil is rare oil that is high in both oleic acid and linoleic fatty acids, both of which aid acne-prone skin. Argan oil is plant oil extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree that is endemic to Morocco. In Morocco, Argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or on pasta. It is used for cosmetic purposes. Argan oil is produced from the fruit kernel of the Argan tree. This Argan tree is endemic to Morocco but is grown in few other parts of the world. Argan oil is touted as wonderful oil for cosmetic uses, especially for the hair and dry skin. What is Argania Spinosa (Argan) kernel oil? Argania Spinosa (Argan) kernel oil is the oil extracted from the kernels of seeds from Argan plant. Traditionally, Argan oil has been utilized in cooking, in the treatment of skin infections, and in skin or hair care products.

Harvest time

Even if the wealth of Argan fruits covers the whole tree, giving it a golden-yellow air, the Berbers do not pick and choose the nuts because of the tree’s thorny branches, which can cause harmful damages. To harvest Argan fruits can be balanced with climbing onto a cactus. To shake the trees with the help of machines, as can be completed with olive trees, for instance, is not probable either, because mechanical shaking would cause the dry and brittle branches of the Argan trees to break off and all obtainable blossoms with them.

During this time, any grazing within the Argan woods is not allowable and the Berbers have patiently waited for the Argan fruits to fall off the trees by themselves, they collect them by hand and put them on the roofs of their loam houses to air-dry. These perform makes sure that the fruits can be stored for years and, on demand, used for Argan oil extraction.

How is Argan oil harvested? There are two traditional methods in which Argan fruit (nuts) are harvested. They are;

The farmers collect the Argan fruit or nuts after it falls from the tree. And in several cases, they use stones to throw the rest of the fruit of the tree.

Goats climb in the Argan trees eat the fruit and then spits or poop out the nuts or seeds. And then these nuts will then be collected by farmers.

Argan Tree.
Argan Tree.

The traditional way of Argan oil extraction

The traditional way of Argan oil extraction, actual oil production itself mostly takes place under rather bad food-hygienic circumstances. The oil extraction procedure requires water, but instead of using only small amounts of it, as necessary, more water is generally added, resulting in changes of the oil’s composition

The traditional way for oil extraction is to grind the roasted seeds to paste, with a little water, in a stone rotary quern. The paste is then squeezed by hand to extract the Argan oil. The extracted paste is still oil-rich & is used as animal feed. Oil produced this way can be stored and used for 3 to 6 months and will be formed as needed in a family, from a store of the kernels, which will keep for 20 years unopened. Dry-pressing is becoming increasingly very important for oil produced for sale, as this method allows for faster extraction, and the Argan oil produced can be used for 12 to 18 months after extraction.

Read: Process of Palmarosa Oil Extraction.

Extraction of Argan oil:

The Argan oil extraction process is explained below;

The fruit of the Argan tree is the small, and round, oval, or conical shape. A thick peel envelops the fleshy pulp. The fleshy pulp surrounds a hard-shelled nut that represents about 25% of the weight of the fresh fruit. The nut contains 1 to 3 oil-rich Argan kernels. Extraction yields from 30% to 50% of the oil in the kernels, depending on the extraction process.

Extraction is key to the production procedure. To extract the kernels, workers first dry Argan fruit in the open air and then eliminate the fleshy pulp. Some producers remove the flesh mechanically without drying the Argan fruit. Moroccans generally use the flesh as animal feed. A tradition in some areas of Morocco allows goats to climb Argan trees to feed freely on the Argan fruits. The kernels are then later retrieved from the goat droppings, significantly reducing the labor involved in the extraction process at the expense of some potential gustatory aversion. In modern practice, the thick peels are removed by hand.

The next stage involves cracking the Argan nut to get the Argan kernels. Attempts to mechanize this procedure have been unsuccessful, so workers still do it by hand, making it a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. Berber women regularly engage in this arduous task. Workers gently roast kernels they will use to create culinary Argan oil. After the Argan kernels cool, workers grind and push them. The brown-colored mash expels pure, unfiltered Argan oil. Lastly, they decant unfiltered Argan oil into the vessels. The remaining press cake is protein-rich and regularly used as cattle feed.

Cosmetic Argan oil is produced almost identically, though the argan kernels are not roasted to avoid an extremely nutty scent. The decanted Argan oil is left to rest about 2 weeks, so the suspended solids settle to the bottom. The clearer Argan oil is further filtered, depending on the necessary clarity and purity. Pure Argan oil may have some sediment.

The semi-industrial production of Argan oil

Semi-industrial production of Argan oil means, that the almonds of the Argan tree are no longer ground manually in a stone mill, but with an electric correspondingly hydraulic oil press instead. In order to avoid contamination of the Argan oil, the oil presses are normally made of stainless steel. The advantages of the use of this type of presses are manifold first of all, extra use of water becomes unnecessary and the crop yields are about 13 percentage points higher than usual. Also, the quality of the oil is by no means negatively influenced by the utilize of modern oil presses or even centrifuges.

There is always the tendency to pledge knowledge guilty. But the problem is rather, that in order to obtain higher yields, Argan oil is frequently exposed to high pressing temperatures. A product of this process is that fatty acid face changes in their structure and part of the oil’s precious ingredients reduce drastically, which as a matter of fact can absolutely not be the oil press inventors’ intention. Some scrupulous producers ‘feed’ their presses with the almond’s nut or shells and the fruit bitter pulp, while Argan oil extracted this way can easily be recognized by its bitter aroma (i.e. smell and taste).

Chemical extraction of Argan oil

Argan oil can also be formed by chemical extraction. For this kind of process, the almonds are first pulverized and then suspended in solvents. Afterward, the chemicals are vaporized. What remains is Argan oil still containing slight spurs of the used solvents. To avoid any oxidation of the fatty acid, antioxidants, particularly tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate may be added to the oil. Argan oil formed by chemical extraction can easily be recognized by its hay yellow color.


Chemical knock-out for the Argan oil:

A few Argan oils are refined after their extraction. Behind the theory of refinement there lies a whole series of chemo-technical procedures. All these procedures serve one reason in particular without considering the losses the Argan oil is optimized for trade and industrial processing, or as the food industry affectionately calls it, the oil is being “improved”. The product of these procedures is bright and taste-neutral Argan oil. Although the oil yield is much higher because of these processes, nevertheless, valuable ingredients get lost.

It is worth admiring, which possibilities and devices are nowadays obtainable to the food technology in order to turn pure Argan oil into an unhealthy and totally denaturized fat product.

Argan oil decantation and filtration:

After the pressing process, the Argan oil is filled into a decanter. Due to pressing residues the fresh Argan oil is rather turbid at first. After a resting period of about two weeks all turbidities, suspended solids and solid components settle to the vessel bottom and generate the oil’s sediment (also known as decantate or depot). The clear Argan oil is then carefully decanted and, to make sure clearly improved quality, afterward filtered. Depending on the degree of purity necessary the oil becomes filtered up to three times. After this process, the Argan oil is again decanted into a vessel.

A clearly better quality can be achieved by filtration of the Argan oil after the pressing process. Depending on the degree of purity necessary the oil becomes filtered up to three times. After this process, the Argan oil is again decanted into a vessel. About one month after its pressing process, the Argan oil has developed all its typical characteristics, whereas fresh Argan oil is always a mainly flavorful challenge.

A small quantity of sediment remaining in the sales units cannot be avoided and does not at all influence the quality of the Argan oil. The sediment rather confirms the naturalness of the oil and that it has not been refined. By shaking the bottle, the sediment dissolves in the oil, but our recommendation is, to essentially leave it at the bottom.

Read: Cultivation Practices of Vanilla.

Cost of Argan oil:

The cost of Argan oil is approximately Rs 3,500/ Kilogram

Structures of Argan oil press machine

The major parts of the Argan oil press machine are piston, hydraulic cylinder, column, movable upper beam, base, oil pump, material barrel, electric heating ring, and automatic temperature control apparatus. The materials are prepared with high-quality metal materials, thus improving the performance of the machine and ensuring the service life of the components.

Characteristics of Argan kernel oil press machine are given below;

  1. The press machine is small in size and occupies a small area. It is easy to learn, easy to understand and simple to operate, and has no special requirements for operators.
  2. During the use of the Argan oil press machine, the power consumption is low and the cost is low.
  3. Saving power 50% compared to stone mill
  4. The machine belongs to the hydraulic press, with high pressure, high oil yield, and excellent oil quality.
  5. The machine adopts automatic control arrangement, preheating temperature automatic control and hydraulic system pressure automatic control.
  6. The major components of the machine are imported high-quality silicon manganese steel, equipped with CNC precision lathe and modern high machinery, and the machine has good performance.

Benefits of Argan oil:

The oil produced by the Argan oil extraction machine is rich in several nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids, sterols, tocopherol vitamin E, and squalene. These vital compounds have anti-inflammatory characteristics and act as antioxidants. Some of the main benefits of Argan oil contain the following:

  • Production with chronic inflammation;
  • Combating free radicals that give to early aging and skin wrinkles;
  • Moisturizing, toning and soothing the body skin;
  • Exfoliating the skin and eliminate dead cells;
  • Eradicating razor bumps and rashes;
  • Conditioning the hair, and nails;
  • Protecting the skin against wrinkles, sagging;

Anti-aging and improved skin elasticity: Topical application of Argan oil has been shown to have anti-aging effects on the skin and this was demonstrated by the development of skin elasticity.

Antioxidant and skin protection: Argan oil is very rich in tocopherols, natural skin anti-oxidants. These are strong anti-oxidants which can serve to protect the skin against UV radiation-induced free radical attack.

Moisturizing and skin hydration: Daily consumption and application of Argan oil have been exposed to have improved the skin hydration by restoring the barrier purpose and maintaining the water-holding capacity. Argan oil prevents water loss through the skin.

Anti-inflammatory: Argan oil has been exposed to offer anti-inflammatory activity of the skin.

Read: How To Grow Microgreens Indoors.



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