The process of extracting the most common argan oil is very artisanal. It is the Berber women who, in free time, do this task.
Traditionally, the berries are picked in perch, dried in the sun and are carefully shelled with their pulp. These are kept for cattle feed and the core of the fruit containing the oil seed kernel is used for the preparation of argan oil.
The most common process of extracting argan oil includes 6 steps:
The pulping consists of a light crushing of the whole fruit against a stone that serves as support, then the separation of the pulp of the nut is done manually.
This is the most painful and tiring step during the oil extraction process. It is made between two stones, one serves as a support and the other as a hammer.
The almonds obtained from the crushing are placed in a container usually made of terracotta, then they are heated with a gentle fire. From time to time, the almonds are stirred to take on a brown color. According to the women who are charged with the process, the purpose of this operation is the development of the color, the smell and the taste of the oil to be extracted. If you increase the fire, the color of the oil becomes browner.
Crushing almonds in a milestone
The roasted almonds are crushed using a stone wheel similar to that used in the artisanal grain mill. The extracted dough is accumulated in a pottery container for mixing.
Mixing the dough
The mixing is done with the addition of a small amount of lukewarm water to obtain a smooth paste. However, this operation determines the quality of the oil since an increase in water will cause a decrease in the quality of the oil.
Pressing the dough
The paste obtained is pressed by releasing oil in the form of droplets by adding of course water.