Argan Oil Facts & Fallacies Series
The Argan Kernel Extraction
You might have come across websites talking about the extraction time of the Argan kernels.
Their estimations are ranging between some hours up to one week of work.
To clear this up, we asked a person whose processing Argan fruits / kernels / oil is a daily business.
- How long does it take to extract the Argan kernels from the nuts?
- How long does it take to roast enough kernels for 1 Liter of Argan oil?
To make sure we deliver you authentic and accurate information, we asked directly the natives who:
- Know best about Argan oil and Argan culture
- Have been producing, using and selling Argan oil for ages
- Are still extracting it the ancestral and traditional way.
Ok, what´s your name?
Fadna, are you willing to answer my questions?
Thank you very much for accepting.
I thank you too.
How long did you say it takes to extract the Argan kernel from the Argan fruit?
Yes, if you want to crack the nut to reach the kernel?
We first remove the pulp (Berber Term: affiach)
And how long does it take to extract the Argan kernel from the hard nut? Is it fast?
No, it needs quite a long time: around 2 days.
2 Days´ work for how much fruit? 1 bag?
No, after 2 days of hard work you extract 1,5 Kg of Argan kernels.
1,5 Kg in 2 days!!
Yes, 1,5 Kg in 2 days because it´s real hard work.
All this only to remove the pulp?
No, it takes 2 days to remove the pulp of the Argan fruit and crack the Argan nuts to reach the kernels.
Ok. 2 days!!
Hand work, right? You crack the Argan nuts using only the stones?
Yes, we only use stones for both: removing the pulp and cracking the Argan nuts.
And how long does it take to roast 2 Kg of the Argan kernels?
To roast 2 kg to extract 1 liter, we need 30 minutes and twice as long for roasting 4 Kg.
It takes 1 hour to roast 4 Kg of Argan kernels to yield 2 liters of Argan oil.
And how long does it take to grind them in the stone hand-mill (Ar. Term: R´ha)?
It takes between 2 1/2 and 3 hours of pure grinding.
Using the stone-mill?
Yes, and it´s this colleague´s turn to roast the kernels today.
Do you also grind them using the machine from time to time?
What about the cosmetic Argan oil?
Yes, for that one we use the machine.
Not for the culinary one?
No, we use only the stone hand-mill to extract the culinary Argan oil.
In spite of the hard work of the stone hand-mill… but the Argan oil yielded this way is worth it.
The cumbersome process to extract only the Argan kernels consumes around 3 days in total time.
Only after that the kernels are roasted then finally ground to gain pure Argan oil.
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