Argan oil, liquid gold from morocco for the skin

ARGAN OIL

 

Benefits of Argan OilArgan oil -known as the Green Gold of Marocco- is an oil extracted from the nut of the argan tree. It contains high levels of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid (omega-6). These fatty acids protect and repair the skin. This action is reinforced by very high levels of vitamin E(tocopherols) which has moisturising and healing properties and is one of the most powerful biological anti-oxidants in neutralizing free radicals. It also protects cell membranes from lipid oxidation, thereby slowing the skin`s ageing process.

 

Benefits of Argan Oil

Argan oil is being used nowadays by many European laboratories to produce beauty products for the hair, nails and in natural soaps making, because this Moroccan oil is a great source of essential fatty acids. The skin products made from Argan oil softens the skin and help to reduce wrinkles by restoring the skin�s water lipid layer. Argan oil reduces visible scars left by acne or chicken pox, moisturizes dry skin, reduces blemishes and slows down the appearance of wrinkles, promotes a healthy skin, it helps and protects skin elasticity.

Besides being a valuable ingredient in natural cosmetic products, argan oil is also used as a culinary oil. It contains a high nutritional profile (vitamin F, E, A, C) and a good balance of fatty acids. It has a characteristic nutty flavour and enhances the taste and aroma of many dishes.

 

 

Argan Oil:

The production of argan oil is still mostly done by traditional methods. It is a labour intensive and lengthy process done mainly by women. The most labour intensive part of oil-extraction is the removal of the soft pulp and drying  them in the sun, and then the cracking by hand, between two stones, of the very hard nut.

Argan oil analysis

analysis

 

Colour

3.9 - Gerdner

Spectrophotometry at 270 nm

0.098

density at 20 °C

0.913

acid value

0.9 mg KOH/g

peroxide value

0.0 méq O2/Kg

free fatty acids composition

 

C16 (palmitic)

12.5 %

C18 ( stearic)

5.7 %

C18’ (oleic)

47.2 %

C18’’ ( linoleic)

32.5 %

The seeds are then removed and gently roasted. This roasting accounts for partargan seeds of the oil�s distinctive, nutty flavour. The traditional technique for oil extraction is to grind the roasted seeds to dough, with a little water, in a stone rotary quern. The paste is then squeezed between hands to extract the oil. The extracted paste, amlou, is still oil-rich. Oil produced by this method will keep 3-6 months, and will be produced as needed in a family, from astore of the kernels, which will keep for 20 years unopened.

 

The Argan tree:


argan treesThis tree is unique in the world for its characteristics: nutritive, cosmetic and many medicinal properties. The Argan (Argania spinosa, syn. A. sideroxylon Roem. & Schult.) is a species of tree endemic to the calcareous semi-desert Sous valley of southwestern Morocco and to the Algerian region of Tindouf in the western Mediterranean region. The Argan tree grows to 8-10 metres high, and live to 150-200 years old.

They are thorny, with gnarled trunks. The leaves are small, 2-4 cm long, 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 long and 1.5-3 cm broad, with a thick, bitter peel surrounding a sweet-smelling but unpleasantly flavoured 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.

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