Andrea Parodi presents the oil of argan nuts

Raw materials – Almonds

The Almond tree belongs to the botanical species of Rosaceae (like Dog Rose and Rubiginosa seeds) and it is a type of deciduous or evergreen tree. Besides the almond tree, the best known are apricot, peach, plum, cherry, apple, pear, medlar, laurel, mountain ash and rose, too (species are about 3000). Almond fruit: its pulp is dry with a leather-like consistency.
The almond tree, which has been considered since ancient times a sacred tree, announces life. After a cold winter it is the first flower blooming in Spring. Almonds, in Egypt, accompanied the eternal journey of Pharaohs and also in the Greek culture, with a myth of unforgettable beauty, the almond tree is a metaphor of life coming back.
Coming from the Middle East and the South of India regions, in ancient times, thanks to man (the name ALMOND /AMANDE comes from the Latin/Roman term Amandula which comes from the Greek word AMIGDALA, from which the species derives), the almond tree spread in all the Mediterranean basin. Its cultivation has spread worldwide and the biggest growers are currently US and Australia. The first variety, AMIGDALUS AMARA, which is wild, has been domesticated by man, obtaining the variety called DULCIS.
The term Amigdalus gave its name also to the first identified glycoside, called amygdaline, which is toxic when in high concentrations but, in 1845, has been recognized (in Russia) as the first anti-cancer glycoside (for cancer treatments).
The biodiversity of almond groves in Italy is detached from the varietal monoculture of Californian products, providing a quality offer that until not many years ago counted more than 600 varieties. Today, for example, Avola Pizzuta Almond and Toritto Almond have become a SLOW FOOD Presidia. The quality, as the diversity, is a precious gift that we need to search for and to recognize, even when well hidden.

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Almond Oil – Production

The percentage of oil changes from seed to seed and is between the 50% and the 72%. The extraction can be carried out through mechanical worm screw press or hydraulic press. We can press unshelled or peeled almonds, depending on the demands of the market, as extraction protein flours have different features, while oil keeps high, in both cases, its nutrition qualities.
After pressing, oil is decanted and then mechanically filtered on filter press.
Crude virgin sweet almonds oil keeps a sweet smell and a scent that is typical of its fruit.
Almonds quality changes depending on the country of origin and on the type available on the market (there are whole, unshelled, peeled almonds, almonds scraps or almonds that show oxidation signs). These almonds, selected depending on their destination, are cold pressed and in some cases oil must be refined. Refined almond oil is odourless and colourless.
In case of special requests, virgin almond oil, too, can be deodorised, or physically refined, without using chemical products.

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Properties of Almond Oil

Almonds are rich in A, B1, B2, B6 vitamin and very rich in E vitamin. Almond oil is the most used oil worldwide as a carrier in aromatherapy and in massage. It has a light texture and it is quickly absorbed, nourishing your skin in depth and leaving you a velvet and non-oily sensation. It is excellent for all skin types and helps relieving irritations and inflammations. Almond oil, thanks to a daily massage, improves the tone of your skin, making it glow. Excellent for pregnant women, it helps making your skin more elastic, avoiding unaesthetic rhagades or stretch marks. The daily use of this oil after a shower allows the skin tissue to keep a dark colour on a tanned skin, or the light original colour on a non tanned skin, as organic virgin oil has a protection factor. When in contact with sunlight almond oil helps producing D vitamin, useful to strengthen our organism, especially bones.

After a regular use of almond oil, your skin will become stronger, nourished, lubricated either on the first layer or on the layer in contact with muscles. It is also used to nourish hair and to strengthen ends and roots. The deep anti-microbial action of almond oil allows your skin to eliminate bacterial infections often associated to juvenile acne, thanks to the principle “fat eliminates fat”. It has, therefore, a topic effect, not only as an emollient or moisturizer, even though these qualities have made it popular worldwide.
Virgin almond oil for internal use can contribute to help digestion, also improving intestinal transit, and to energize the immune system as it is rich in beneficial fatty acids.

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Chemical composition:

  • SATURATED FATTY ACIDS 9-15%
  • Palmitic Acid 4-9%
  • Stearic Acid max 3%
  • Palmitoleic Acid max 0.6
  • MONOUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS 62-86%
  • Oleic Acid 62-86%P
  • POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS 20-30%
  • Linoleic Acid 20-30%
  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid max 0.4%
  • Eicosenoic Acid max 0.2

The percentage of the sterolic fraction changes depending on the type of raw materials and on the origin.
Beta-Sitosterol varies between the 73 and the 87%. Oil is rich in micro nourishing elements and in E vitamin.