STUDIES on identification of geographic traceability, the climate change impact on the argan forest, and Global Supply chains

STUDIES on the identification of geographic traceability, the climate change impact on the argan forest, and Global Supply chains. Good news: more research discloses the secrets and benefits of Argan oil.

The jury is out on what geographic area within the Argan forest in Morocco has the best kernels to produce argan oil. We know where to find it, and traceability per tree is still -and most likely will be- residing in Utopia, so no answer to precise supply chain demands in near future.

A new study by Belgian and Moroccan researchers, prof dr Yvan Vander Heyden et al, published in Food Chemistry, investigated the effectiveness of mass-spectrometry (SIFT-MS) versus chemical profiling of the Extra Virgin Argan Oil (EVAO) the best quality Argan oil. (for more on the quality of argan oil, see our infographic).


Almost one hundred EVAO samples from five locations of the argan forest were researched and SIFT-MS was found to be advantageous for rapid geographic classification.

Prof. dr. Sebastián Sánchez et al, Researchers of the Jaén University, Spain published in European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, April 2018, Effect of roasting temperature and time on the chemical composition and oxidative stability of argan oils. They studied changes in the characteristics of unroasted and roasted kernels and parameters were temperature (150, 175 and 200 °C) and times (10, 30 and 50 minutes).

This research shows the importance of roasting for culinary (edible) argan oil since its composition, quality and stability are influenced. Roasting facilitated the transfer of phenolic compounds to argan oil and when parameters (temperature and time) were raised, minor changes in characteristics such as peroxide value and carotenoid occured. “The amount  of y-tocopherol still remained over 85% of the total tocopherols after roasting at 200 °C and 50 minutes, the hardest conditions.  However, the content of each tocopherol (α, γ and δ) gradually decreased when roasting temperature and time increased, certainly due to their thermal degradation. The oxidative stability of argan oil improved when the roasting temperature and time rose. Simultaneously, significant augmentations were observed in the specific extinction coefficients in oils prepared at high roasting temperature. The color intensity of oils increased markedly over 175°C roasting temperature.”

Pictured is the roasting machine used for our culinary argan oil. Temperature and time are the secret of our artisan roast master and can vary per batch. The key component for quality are the kernels, the roasting and the cold pressed extraction.

In an earlier blog we shared the impact of ‘electronic tongue & nose’ on identifying adulteration of argan oil, studied by dr. Madiha Bougrini et al. One of the conclusions: ‘To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to demonstrate whether the combined e-nose and e-tongue technologies could be successfully applied to the detection of adulteration of argan oil.’

As with most global standards and protocols, it is not clear if and when scientific contributions will be incorporated in regulatory provisions.  From a quality and branding perspective It is key we maintain the integrity of pure argan oil. We have seen the negative impact of blending of inferior oils with extra virgin olive oil on the markets -without using e-eye….

Talking about markets, the argan tree is endemic to Morocco. The production of Argan oil is far less than 1% of all vegetable oils worldwide and a slightly higher % to Morocco’s Export (see our blog on trade) but its positive impact on the country’s imago can’t be underestimated. But how long will the argan tree be endemic? In Agroforestry Systems, April 2018, researchers dr. Said Moukrim et al. published  Climate change impacts on potential distribution of multipurpose agroforestry species: Argania spinosa as case study.  They studied the habitat suitability in future climate change scenarios and concluded about a third of current suitable areas will be unsuitable by the years 2050/2070. The study:

Imagine, an argan tree in NYC would save on our carbon footprint..

Both studies relate to traceability. We are continuously asked to partner with webshops in the US and more and more values like organic certification, cruelty free etc. are topics to distinguish ourselves from our competition. We are happy to comply, but the ‘proof of the pudding’ also is the great taste of our culinary argan oil. In a separate blog we report on the diplomatic culinary festival in Fes, and events in Saidia and Meknes.

The path to impact is the Global Compact Network USA’s annual Symposium, a flagship NYC event, convening US-based members of the UN Global Compact with stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, and the United Nations to advance progress on societal goals.

On June 20, financing and collective impact for the  SDGs

( Sustainable Development Goals) and the goals is to move understanding and alignment to action and impact. In principle, the global community has the resources to address the needs of the 2030 Agenda and meet the SDGs. The challenge is finding the path to get there.  We are happy to attend and will report on this symposium. More on sustainability and supply chain: and


A little off-topic:

Traceability goes hand in hand with transparency.  Advocacy group CSCI – Center for Science in the Public Interest  ( communicated today ‘:

It’s hard to believe but through recent trade negotiations, the Trump administration is actually fighting to make it more difficult for consumers to know what’s in their food. The New York Times has reported that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is pushing for less effective, less transparent nutrition labeling’.

Well, we at SULA NYC are proud to strive for optimal transparency; for health and food it should be a no-brainer.

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