ARGANIA AND ARGAN OIL
The argan tree and argan oil are a providence of Morocco
A 100% Moroccan tree, the Argania covers an area of more than 800,000ha, it grows in the arid and semi-arid areas of southwest Morocco.
The argan tree is very resistant to heat and can withstand temperatures up to 50° C. It can reach 8 to 10 m in height. The trunk is short, the branches are thorny,the leaves are alternate spatula-shaped and they reach 2 to 3 cm in length.The fruit has the size of a walnut, it is yellow, sometimes veined of red. It isformed of a fleshy pulp which covers the solid core (or nut). The nut of arganecontains one to three almonds containing up to 55% of oil.
The Argania is a multi-use tree, each part of the tree is usable and is asource of income or food for people.
Its wood is used as fuel and for carpentry, its leaves and pulp or fruit for fodderfor goats and camels, its kernels for argan oil, the cake for fattening livestock.
This relic of the tertiary constitutes a world reserve in Morocco where it plays avery important socio-economic and environmental role. THE ARGAN GROVE WASRECOGNIZED BY UNESCO AS A BIOSPHERE RESERVE (RBA) 1999.
In addition to providing pasture, edible oil and firewood, the argan tree providesa livelihood for some three million rural people.
It allows to stabilize the ruralpopulations and thus to limit the phenomenon of the rural exodus (20 millionworking days per year).
The argan tree plays an irreplaceable role in the ecological balance.
Thanks to itspowerful root system, it maintains the soil fertility and protects it from water andwind erosion that threaten desertification.
Research program on the Argan tree
This program, supported by national and international partners, has enabledresearch and development work that has led to the progress of argan oil bydeveloping an innovative extraction technology. Fundamental research work hasbeen conducted on the various tissues of the argan tree to seek secondarymetabolites and promote them as pharmacodynamic products or industrialcompounds.
The research work has helped improve the technology used in oil production,confirm certain uses in traditional medicine, increase the shelf life of the oil,improve its packaging, contribute to the establishment of a Moroccan standardon argan oil, develop a method of fraud detection and identify new chemicalmolecules that will be valued in cosmetology.