Master plant: Argania spinosa L.
Sapotaceae (Sapota family)
Oleum Arganiae spinosae
The Argan tree (Argania spinosa) is one of the oldest trees of the world and grows only in the southwest of Morocco. For centguries Berber women of this region have produced this oil in laborious manual work. The Argan tree is for inhabitants of the region the "tree of life". It supplies the people with timber, fuel, food and an oil, that is considered as one of the most valuable nutrition of this world: the Argan oil.
Due to the high demand of this precious oil, falsifications with olive oil or low-cost palmoel have become more common. Therefore the inspection of this unique product is especially important.
Characteristics and subtances:
The Argan oil is won out of the kernels of the Argan -, Ardjan-, or iron wood tree. The kernels possess a very high concentration of essential fatty acids (over 80%). Particularly the amount of linoleic acid (approx. 35%) makes this oil so valuable.
Argan oil possesses also a high level of natural vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol 620mg/kg compared to 320mg/kg in olive oil).
Argan oil is used as a gourmet edible oil for refinement of dishes and salads.