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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 23;53(6):2081-7.

Influence of origin and extraction method on argan oil physico-chemical characteristics and composition.

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Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et de Synthèse Organique et Bioorganique, Faculté des Sciences, B.P. 1014 RP, Rabat, Maroc.


Twenty one samples of argan oil of different geographical origin (Tidzi, Tamanar, Benaiznassen, Ait mzal, Ait Baha, Ighrem, Aoulouz) and/or prepared following a different process (traditional, mechanical, or industrial) were collected and their physico-chemical properties analyzed. Sample acidity was found between 0.14 and 1.40%, unsaponifiable matter between 0.34 and 0.79%, saponification value between 180.0 and 199.6, highest peroxide index was 5.72 meq/kg, refractive index (20 degrees C) between 1.4644 and 1.4705, and UV absorption at 270 nm between 0.228 and 0.605. This study, carried out on randomly selected samples, clearly demonstrates that press extraction does not alter either the chemical composition of argan oil or its physico-chemical characteristics. It also demonstrates that press extraction respects the critical factors reported for traditionally prepared oils and necessary to obtain a beneficial effect on human health (a specific fatty acid balance and high tocopherol and sterol levels). In addition, this study should be useful for the establishment of a national quality standard.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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