This great video takes you on a tour of a company using traditional methods to extract Argan oil in Morocco. These days most of the extraction is carried out by machinery, but still work to support the local women co-operatives.
As you can see from the footage it is quite a time consuming and very manual process.
Traditional Production Method:
1. Goats. Goats were originally the first stage of the process. Goats would climb the Argan Trees (Argania Spinosa) and eat the fruit. The workers would then go through the waste from these animals looking for Argan fruit Kernels.
2. Pulp. This stage is the separate the outside of the nut from the core. Normally to open the nut they crush them between two stones.
3. Crush. This is where the solids (almonds) are crushed to form a thick paste.
4. Grind. This is possible the most important stage in the process. Berbers grind the paste in a way that it will reach a very certain consistency. A stone mill is used for this grinding process.
5. Mixing. Next up is the mixing part. This is a long, often tedious, task where they will prepare a loaf for the paste, ready for the next step.
6. Press. The loaf is then pressed in order to extract the oil. Once it has been pressed to a stage that no more oil will come out, it is time to move on to the filtration process.
7. Filter. The last stage is to filter the oil. It is filtered many times before we get the Argan Oil we use today.
Using this old production method it takes between 20 and 30 days to make just 1 litre of Argan oil! Luckily today there is more up to date machinery, which allows for better hygiene, whilst still being managed up the women’s co-operatives.