How Is Argan Oil Made Goats?

Unless you’re familiar with Moroccan traditions or often visit trendy hair salons, argan oil is likely to have evaded your notice. Argan is a tree that only grows in a certain location of Morocco and produces a huge olive-like fruit. After removing the fleshy outer covering, a nut is revealed, which can be dried and broken open to reveal many kernels. These are traditionally roasted, crushed, and squeezed to produce a nutty-flavored oil. Animal feed is made from the residue, which is high in protein.

Because the trees are scarce and the oil is produced with a lot of effort, it is usually pricey. As a result, it’s only used in little amounts, mainly to flavor salads and dips. It’s also good mixed into couscous. There are also health claims like decreasing cholesterol and strengthening the immune system, but these should be taken with a grain of salt.

Argan oil is composed primarily of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, and linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat, and is chemically similar to olive oil. Despite the fact that they are considered to be “Healthy,” argan oil would have to be ingested in large quantities on a regular basis to have any effect on health. It includes some vitamin E, as well as minor amounts of polyphenols including caffeic acid, oleuropein, catechol, and resorcinol, similar to olive oil. While these have antioxidant capabilities, their quantities are insignificant. Argan oil’s use in cosmetics has a bit more justification. According to at least one research, rubbing a small amount on the skin can reduce sebum production, and there is some hope that it can help with psoriasis. Even so, it’s unlikely that it would differ from olive oil. Nonetheless, celebrities like Catherine Zeta Jones and Charlize Theron promote the benefits of argan oil, claiming that it keeps the skin young and is an excellent hair conditioner.

Argan oil’s esoteric nature makes for excellent marketing, especially in the personal care product area, where companies are looking for new methods to set themselves apart from the competition. “Moroccan Argan Oil” is now included in Dove soap, or “beauty bar,” as its creator refers to it. It’s supposed to cleanse and hydrate the skin. The soap, without a doubt, cleans, but “The claim “to nourish the skin” is worthless. In any event, the argan oil can’t add much to this product because it’s listed as the fourteenth ingredient, just above the water “Flavour.”

Some hair stylists promote argan oil as a conditioning agent, claiming that it is the reason Moroccan women’s hair is so attractive. Actually, there’s no evidence that Moroccan women have particularly attractive hair or that they use argan oil in large quantities. In any event, there’s no reason to believe that argan oil would work better as a hair conditioner than olive oil. However, there is a treatment called “Moroccan oil,” which can be found in better hair salons and pharmacies, works wonders for making hair more manageable and likely to keep its shape.

While argan oil is present in this product, it is not the active ingredient. Basically, it’s there to create some buzz about a rare oil. The first three ingredients are cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, and cyclomethicone, three silicones that are extremely good in taming unruly hair. However, there are dozens of less expensive silicone products that work just as well. They do not, however, come with the legend that surrounds argan oil.

The oil was traditionally squeezed from nuts that had passed through the digestive tracts of goats who had climbed the tree to satisfy their desire for the argan fruit, according to legend. Goats standing on the branches of argan trees can be seen in abundance on the Internet. Given what we know about Photoshop, the images are suspicious, but they turn out to be genuine. Some Moroccan goats appear to have figured out how to climb the argan tree in quest of its olive-like fruit. The nuts processed by goats are said to be easier to crack and provide a more flavorful oil. Actually, the tree-climbing goats are a nuisance since the oil is extracted from fruit that has been selected by human hands. Nonetheless, their incredible athleticism can be admired. Collecting their feces to isolate the nuts, however, is a myth. It’s just as much of a myth as the one about argan oil’s mystical abilities.

Is argan oil really made from goat poop?

Argan nuts pass through a tree goat’s digestive system whole. People collect them from the goat’s droppings and break them open to expose the seeds within once they’ve been expelled.

One to three oil-rich kernels can be found in one argan nut. Argan oil is made from these kernels, which are roasted, crushed, mashed, or cold-pressed to yield one of the world’s most sought-after culinary and cosmetic liquids.

How is argan oil produced?

Argan oil has long been used in Morocco to cure a variety of diseases, including dry skin, acne, wrinkles, and joint discomfort. It’s a common element in cooking when toasted, and it has health advantages ranging from cholesterol reduction to arthritis relief. Argan oil is now found in everything from shampoo bars to rapid eye-tightening serum, thanks to Western countries’ discovery of this ostensibly magical resource.

Argan trees are virtually entirely grown in the deserts of south-western Morocco. It acts as a natural barrier to the desert’s march, preventing soil erosion and protecting water resources.

The tree is so helpful to the ecology that Unesco designated Morocco’s argan forest as a Biosphere Reserve in 1998. Despite this, the forest has been endangered by deforestation, with locals cutting down trees for building materials and firewood. As locals become interested in the manufacture of argan oil, this has decreased in recent years.

Dana Elemara founded Arganic, a UK-based Argan oil seller, and collaborates with Sidi Yassine, a regional argan oil producer. “Getting local people involved and paying them decently is one of the most important aspects of sustainability. This prevents them from felling Unesco-protected trees.” She claims that the oil production aids in the preservation of the tree. “Producing argan oil has no negative impact on the tree. We only eat fruit that has fallen on the ground.”

Drying the fruit of the argan tree, extracting the nuts, cracking them to reveal the kernels, and pressing them to release the oil are all steps in the process. A thick argan paste is produced as a byproduct of the pressing process, which is sold locally for cosmetic purposes. Nothing goes to waste because the outer pulp is fed to the village animals and the shells are used as firewood.

What is argan oil goats?

Acrobatic goats climb argan trees in south-western Morocco to consume its fruit and leaves. A tree full of goats is a striking sight, but the goats’ habit of regurgitating and spitting out the nuts may be crucial to the forest’s survival.

Goat herders take their flocks through argan (Argania spinosa) forests, where the animals can clamber up to 10 meters tall trees and strip them bare. According to legend, goats defecate argan fruit nuts, which can subsequently be recovered from the goats’ manure.

The first stage in creating argan oil, a major export to wealthy nations where it is used in beauty goods and foods, is to crack these nuts open. People can pick the fruits themselves, but goats save them a step.

Why is argan oil so expensive?

  • The international market for argan oil has grown from 200 liters to 4,000 metric tons in just one generation.
  • This handmade oil was once sold for as little as $3 per liter on the side of the road in discarded bottles.

Narrator: Argan oil is the world’s most costly edible oil, costing up to $300 a liter. However, only 20 years ago, argan oil production was limited to small villages in Morocco, with international sales almost non-existent. However, the formation of women-run cooperatives has since transformed the industry into a multibillion-dollar business.

So, why has argan oil become so popular so quickly? What is it that makes it so costly?

Argan oil is most commonly found in high-end cosmetics and Moroccan cuisine. The oil is extracted from the argan seed, which is only found in a limited region of semi-desert between Morocco’s Atlantic coast and the Atlas Mountains. The Argan seeds have been used by the Amazigh people of North Africa for millennia, and the processes for producing this expensive oil haven’t changed in years.

Collection is the initial stage of manufacturing, according to Khadija Heeda. The argan fruits are collected. When they are fully grown, we collect them. This is the hue of the young fruit, which is green. We can’t get it out of the tree by hitting it with sticks or taking it off of it. We wait for it to grow and fall to the ground, at which point its color changes from green to brown.

The argan fruits are sun-dried after collection before being peeled and de-pulped by hand to remove the mushy outer layers. The oil-rich kernel inside the argan nut must next be extracted by cracking the remaining argan nut.

This is a challenging stage, Khadija Heeda. This nut can’t be cracked by just anyone since you need to know how to break it correctly in order to keep the nut’s structure and avoid grinding it. To make one liter of argan oil, we’ll need 40 kilos of the fruit or roughly 20 kilograms of the nuts.

Khadija Heeda: We grind the argan kernels using a traditional method that we learned from our forefathers and is part of our Moroccan culture. This procedure is time-consuming. This procedure takes two hours to obtain one liter. That is why we invented the machine, and now we can utilize it when we have a huge order. It only takes a few minutes to use the machine. It can create one or two liters in five minutes.

Argan oil differs from other oils in several ways. Because it is so expensive, the best quality is referred to as “red gold.” The production of argan oil necessitates a significant amount of labor. It would take about 24 hours for one lady to create one liter of argan oil.

Narrator: The argan tree’s leftover pulp is sold as animal feed, especially for goats, who are inextricably linked to the tree. It is customary in some locations to let goats to freely climb trees and graze on the fruits. The argan kernels are then gathered from their faeces, saving the time and effort of manually cracking the nuts open. However, in most argan forests, this strange sight is now mostly employed as a tourist attraction.

Khadija Heeda: Oil generated in this manner has been shown to be unfit for human consumption. When a goat has a problem, it becomes dangerous. Tourists love seeing goats in the argan trees and taking photos with them.

Narrator: Traditionally, Amazigh women, who needed the permission of their husbands to leave the house until 1956, prepared argan oil solely for culinary uses using methods passed down through generations. This homemade oil was occasionally sold for as little as $3 per liter on the side of the road in discarded bottles.

Zoubida Charrouf: We discovered that women who made this oil in the traditional way had incredibly soft skin with no wrinkles. However, we lacked scientific proof.

Zoubida Charrouf began her PhD research on the argan tree in the late 1980s, when the species was in perilous decline. Charrouf sought to turn the environmental problem into an economic solution after completing scientific studies to support the moisturizing advantages of argan oil on hair and skin.

Zoubida Charrouf: The goal was to get out into the field and organize the sector, not to store these results in the university’s drawers. These women, who produced argan oil in the traditional way at home, were not at all structured. It was a challenging task. It was a novel experience. They had never heard of a cooperative before. They never left their homes after that. But we started with 16 women, and as others saw how well the first cooperative worked, a large number of women came to meet us who wanted to form cooperatives of their own and profit from the marketing of Argan oil.

Narrator: Argan oil’s meteoric surge in popularity not only benefited the region, but it also revived an entire ecology. The growing appreciation for the value of argan trees insured the species’ survival, and the surrounding wildlife and people benefited as a result. The argan tree, often known as “the tree of life,” provides food, shelter, and protection from desertification, and its deep roots prevent soil erosion, allowing for the growth of green grass for cattle grazing. The argan tree is thought to be responsible for up to 90% of the economy in this region.

Zoubida Charrouf: The argan tree feeds almost 3 million people since it provides a large number of working days for the local population. The removal of the

Almost a million working days are provided by oil alone. The most essential role, however, is that of the environment. The argan tree is the desert’s final remaining green barrier.

Narrator: The international market for argan oil has grown from 200 liters to 4,000 metric tons in only one generation. The state’s goal is to sell over 10,000 metric tons by 2025. To accommodate this growth, the oil-producing area has expanded more than 100 miles south of Essaouira and is expected to expand further north.

Argan oil products, like any other expensive component, are frequently tampered with. Despite an undisclosed percentage of Argania kernel oil being mixed with a variety of chemical compounds, both cosmetic and culinary argan oil is frequently labeled as “pure.”

Furthermore, cheaper, mechanically produced oil has begun to appear on the market for as little as $22 per liter, putting the local cooperatives’ stability in jeopardy. Some cosmetics behemoths, such as L’Oréal, have pledged to participate in fair-trade programs to help ensure the stability of their argan oil and the biodiversity of the forest.

The ancient talents of the Amazigh women have produced a thriving business with the support of cooperatives. Despite the fact that this income has provided some financial independence in a male-dominated society, women in Morocco often earn less than $220 a month, which is less than the suggested national minimum wage.

The future prosperity of the Amazigh women is uncertain, as the argan oil industry is expected to grow.

What does the argan tree look like?

Argania (Tashelhit: Argan) is a genus of flowering plants that includes the single species Argania spinosa, also known as argan, a tree that is only found in the calcareous semidesert Sous valley of southwestern Morocco and the Tindouf region of southwestern Algeria. Argan trees can reach a height of 8–10 m (26–33 ft) and survive for up to 200 years. With gnarled trunks and a wide spreading crown, they are thorny. The crown is around 70 m (230 ft) in circumference, and the branches slope towards the earth.

The leaves are tiny, oval, and have a rounded apex, measuring 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long. Flowering in April, the flowers are small and have five pale yellow-green petals. With a thick, bitter peel covering a sweet-smelling but unpleasantly tasting layer of pulpy pericarp, the fruit is 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.18 in) wide. This encircles the extremely tough nut, which contains one (or two or three) tiny, oil-rich seeds. The fruit matures over the course of a year, maturing in June or July the next year.

Where is argan oil extracted from?

Argan oil is a natural oil made from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), a Moroccan native. Argan oil, which is high in fatty acids and antioxidants, is frequently used in skincare as an anti-aging treatment. Argan oil is also used in cooking, and its use is thought to offer health benefits, such as the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Is argan a seed or nut?

The nuts of the Argania spinosa, a native Moroccan desert tree, are used to make argan oil. In other words, the Argania spinosa tree’s fruit, commonly referred to as “argan nuts,” are tree nuts.

Does argan only grow in Morocco?

Morocco’s rural Chtouka Ait Baha region is located just south of the bustling metropolis of Agadir. Despite its proximity to various tourist destinations in Morocco, Chtouka Ait Baha’s desolate desert mountainscapes are a world away from the country’s cities’ colorful, bustling streets. The amazing argan tree, however, may be found in the very distant place. The argan tree is a Moroccan gem that produces one of the country’s most precious products, argan oil, and is also native to the region, growing only in and around Morocco!

In the Chtouka Ait Baha region’s Ait Souab-Ait Mansour area, these drought- and heat-resistant trees have been farmed for millennia. Argan trees can withstand temperatures of up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and play an essential role in the lives of the people who live in the region. Locals in these dry and semi-arid territories have developed an astonishing argan tree-based production system. These local communities use the argan trees to make oil and other products, farm the land around the trees, and raise goats that scale the short trees and eat the argan nuts. It’s called an agro (farming)- sylvo (trees)- pastoral (goats) system for this reason.

In 2018, the FAO designated Ait Souab-Ait Mansour as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) to honor the communities’ unique and resilient agricultural practices, as well as their valuable cultural heritage, which have helped to preserve this exceptional landscape and biodiversity. One of the 62 innovative GIAHS locations is an argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system.

Is it safe to ingest argan oil?

Argan oil is safe for most people to use, whether applied topically or taken orally. It includes various therapeutic qualities and vitamins that provide significant skin advantages.