Publications by authors named "Zoubida Charrouf"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Argan Oil: Chemical Composition, Extraction Process, and Quality Control.

Front Nutr 2021 3;8:804587. Epub 2022 Feb 3.

Laboratory of Plant Chemistry and Organic and Bioorganic Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco.

Argan oil is considered a relatively international product exported from Morocco, although different companies in Europe and North America distribute argan oil around the globe. Argan oil is non-refined vegetable oil, of the more well-known "virgin oil" type, is produced from the argan tree [ (L.) Skeels]. The argan tree is deemed to be an important forest species from both social and economic standpoints. Argan oil has rapidly emerged as an important product able to bring more income to the local population. In addition, it also has important environmental implications, owing to its ability to stand against desert progression. Currently, argan oil is mainly produced by women's cooperatives in Morocco using a semi-industrial mechanical extraction process. This allows the production of high-quality argan oil. Depending on the method used to prepare argan kernels, two types of argan oil can be obtained: food or cosmetic grade. Cosmetic argan oil is prepared from unroasted kernels, whereas food argan oil is achieved by cold pressing kernels roasted for a few minutes. Previously, the same food argan oil was prepared exclusively by women according to a laborious ancestral process. Extraction technology has been evolved to obtain high-quality argan oil at a large scale. The extraction process and several accompanying parameters can influence the quality, stability, and purity of argan oil. In view of this, the present review discusses different aspects related to argan oil chemical composition along with its nutritional and cosmetic values. Similarly, it details different processes used to prepare argan oil, as well as its quality control, oxidative stability, and authenticity assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.804587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8850956PMC
February 2022

Profile of Volatile Aroma-Active Compounds of Cactus Seed Oil () from Different Locations in Morocco and Their Fate during Seed Roasting.

Foods 2020 Sep 11;9(9). Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Working Group for Lipid Research, Department of Safety and Quality of Cereals, Max Rubner-Institut (MRI), 32756 Detmold, Germany.

Volatile compounds from oils extracted from cactus seeds () of five regions of Morocco were analyzed by dynamic headspace-GC/MS. Aroma active compounds were characterized by olfactometry. A total of 18 compounds was detected with hexanal, 2-methyl propanal, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, acetoin and 2,3-butanedione as most abundant. Olfactometric analysis showed that those compounds are aroma active; therefore, cactus seed oil flavor can be attributed to those compounds. Moreover, the effect of roasting of cactus seeds on the composition of volatile compounds in the oil was investigated. Especially the concentration of compounds known as products from the Maillard reaction increased significantly with roasting time such as furfural, furan, 3-methyl furan, 2-butanone, thiophene, 2, 3- dithiabutane, methyl pyrazine, 2-methyl pyrimidine, 2-metoxy phenol, dimethyl trisulfide and 5-methyl furfural.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods9091280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555040PMC
September 2020

Characterization of Phenolic Compounds Extracted from Cold Pressed Cactus ( L.) Seed Oil and the Effect of Roasting on Their Composition.

Foods 2020 Aug 11;9(8). Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Working Group for Lipid Research, Department of Safety and Quality of Cereals, Max Rubner-Institut (MRI), 32756 Detmold, Germany.

Phenolic compounds extracted from cactus seed oil were identified for the first time by HPLC-ESI-qToF-MS and subsequently quantified by HPLC-DAD. A total of 7 compounds were identified, vanillin, syringaldehyde, and ferulaldehyde were found to be the most abundant ones. The effect of geographical origin and roasting process of cactus seeds was evaluated. Differences between different locations were not found, however the roasting process had a significant effect on the amount of phenolic compounds. The amount of syringaldehyde, -coumaric acid, -coumaric acid ethyl ester, and ferulaldehyde increased during the roasting process. Nevertheless, the concentration of vanillin was not influenced by roasting. It was demonstrated that the increase of those compounds was due to the thermal degradation of lignin from the seeds during the roasting process of seeds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods9081098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465185PMC
August 2020

Phytochemical Characterization and Bioactive Properties of Cinnamon Basil ( cv. 'Cinnamon') and Lemon Basil ( ).

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Apr 29;9(5). Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal.

The aim of this work was to contribute to the knowledge on the chemical composition and bioactive properties of two species of the genus, namely cultivar 'Cinammon' and . For this purpose, samples of these plants grown in Portugal were evaluated for their composition in phenolic and volatile compounds, and the infusion and hydroethanolic extracts were assessed for their in vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory activities. In total, the two basil samples showed the presence of seven caffeic acid and derivatives (dimers, trimers, and tetramers) and five flavonoids, mainly glycoside derivatives of quercetin. Despite some qualitative and quantitative differences, in both samples rosmarinic acid was the major phenolic compound, and linalool the predominant volatile compound. In general, the tested extracts provided relevant bioactive properties since both basil species showed higher antioxidant activity in Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARs) and Oxidative Hemolysis Inhibition (OxHLIA) assays when compared with the positive control Trolox. Despite extracts showing slightly better activity against some strains, both types of extracts evidenced similar antimicrobial activity, being more active against Gram-positive bacteria. The extracts also revealed interesting cytotoxicity, particularly the hydroethanolic extract which was also the only one exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278754PMC
April 2020

Quality of Life: Psychological Symptoms-Effects of a 2-Month Healthy Diet and Nutraceutical Intervention; A Randomized, Open-Label Intervention Trial (RISTOMED).

Nutrients 2020 Mar 18;12(3). Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Department Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

Depression symptoms and lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are associated with inflammation. This multicenter dietary intervention was shown to reduce inflammation in older people. This was the main outcome. Here, we describe the effects on HRQoL, anxiety, and depressive symptoms according to inflammation status. Overall, 125 healthy older subjects (65-80 year) were recruited (Italy, France, and Germany) and randomized into four arms (A, Healthy diet (HD); B, HD plus De Simone Formulation probiotic blend; C, HD plus AISA d-Limonene; D, HD plus Argan oil). The HD was weight maintaining, rich in antioxidant vitamins, polyphenols, polyunsaturated fatty acids (n6: n3 ratio = 3:1), and fiber. Data on inflammatory parameters, mental (MCS) and physical (PCS) component summaries of HRQoL (SF-36), anxiety symptoms (STAI state), and depressive symptoms (CES-D) were collected before and after 56 days of intervention. Body fat mass proportion (BFM) was considered a co-variable. A decrease of CES-D score was seen in the four arms (A: -40.0%, = 0.001; B: -32.5%, = 0.023; C: -42.8%, = 0.004; and D: -33.3%, = 0.21). Within the subgroups of subjects with medium/high inflammation a similar decrease in CES-D score occurred in all groups (A: -44.8%, = 0.021; B, -46.7%, = 0.024; C, -52.2%, = 0.039; D, -43.8%, = 0.037). The effect of interventions on CES-D was not related to baseline inflammation. MCS-HRQoL improved in A and C. There was no change in anxiety or PCS-HRQoL. In this trial with no control group, a decrease in depressive symptoms in healthy older volunteers was observed after a 2-month healthy diet intervention, independently of inflammation but with possible limitations due to participation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12030800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146172PMC
March 2020

Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Lawsonia inermis Seed Extracts from Morocco.

Nat Prod Commun 2017 Apr;12(4):487-488

The aim of the present study was to investigate the composition of Lawsonia inermis (henna) seed oil from Morocco and to evaluate some of its activities in order to use it in cosmetics. Phytosterols are valuable henna-oil constituents, but henna oil does not present any interesting antioxidant activity.
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April 2017

Argania spinosa var. mutica and var. apiculata: variation of fatty-acid composition, phenolic content, and antioxidant and α-amylase-inhibitory activities among varieties, organs, and development stages.

Chem Biodivers 2015 Sep;12(9):1322-38

Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées et de Technologie, BP 676, 1080 Tunis Cedex, Tunisia, (phone: +216-71703829; fax: +216-71704329).

Argania spinosa includes two varieties, var. apiculata and var. mutica. These argan varieties were introduced into Tunisia in ancient times and are actually cultivated in some botanic gardens. Little is known about the chemical differentiation among these argan varieties. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the fatty-acid composition, the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and the antioxidant and α-amylase-inhibitory activities of leaf, seed, and pulp extracts of both argan varieties harvested during the months of January to April. The fatty-acid distribution was found to depend on the argan variety, the plant organ, and the harvest time. Significant variations in the phenolic contents were observed between the investigated varieties as well as between leaves, pulps, and seeds of each variety. As expected, phenolic compounds were found to be contributors to the antioxidant and α-amylase-inhibitory activities of both argan varieties. The chemical differentiation observed among the two argan varieties, based mainly on the fatty-acid composition, might have some chemotaxonomic value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201400328DOI Listing
September 2015

Skin hydration in postmenopausal women: argan oil benefit with oral and/or topical use.

Prz Menopauzalny 2014 Oct 2;13(5):280-8. Epub 2014 Nov 2.

Research Team on Formulation and Biopharmacy, Research Center for Drug, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University Mohammed V-Souissi, Rabat, Morocco.

The Aim Of This Study: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of daily consumption and/or application of argan oil on skin hydration in postmenopausal women.

Material And Methods: Sixty postmenopausal women consumed butter during the stabilization period and were randomly divided into two groups for the intervention period: the treatment group absorbed alimentary argan oil (n = 30) and the control group olive oil (n = 30). Both groups applied cosmetic argan oil in the left volar forearm during a sixty days' period. Evaluation of skin hydration, i.e. transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and water content of the epidermis (WCE) on both volar forearms of the two groups, were performed during three visits at D0, D30 and after sixty days (D60) of oils treatment.

Results: The consumption of argan oil has led to a significant decrease in TEWL (p = 0.023) and a significant increase in WCE (p = 0.001). The application of argan oil has led to a significant decrease in TEWL (p = 0.01) and a significant increase in WCE (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the daily consumption and application of argan oil have improved the skin hydration by restoring the barrier function and maintaining the water-holding capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/pm.2014.46470DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4520377PMC
October 2014

The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity.

Clin Interv Aging 2015 30;10:339-49. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Research Team on Formulation and Biopharmacy, Research Center for Drug, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco.

Background: During menopause, the decrease of estrogenic secretion induces the disruption of skin functioning, thus causing the decline in skin elasticity characteristic of skin aging. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in postmenopausal women the effect of daily consumption and/or application of argan oil on skin elasticity.

Materials And Methods: Sixty postmenopausal women consumed butter during the stabilization period and were randomly divided into two groups for the intervention period: the treatment group of 30 participants received dietary argan oil, the control group of 30 participants received olive oil, and both groups applied cosmetic argan oil in the left volar forearm during a 60-day period. Assessments of skin elasticity parameters, ie, the three R-parameters (R2 or gross-elasticity of the skin, R5 or net elasticity of the skin, and R7 or biological elasticity), and the resonance running time (RRT) at both volar forearms of the two groups were performed during three visits: before starting oils consumption and application, after 30 days of oils consumption and application, and after 60 days of oils consumption and application.

Results: The consumption of argan oil led to a significant increase of gross-elasticity of the skin (R2) (P<0.001), net elasticity of the skin (R5) (P<0.001), biological elasticity (R7) (P<0.001), and a significant decrease of RRT (P=0.002). The application of argan oil led to a significant increase of gross-elasticity of the skin (R2) (P<0.001), net elasticity of the skin (R5) (P<0.001), biological elasticity (R7) (P=0.001), and a significant decrease of RRT (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the daily consumption and/or topical application of argan oil have an anti-aging effect on the skin demonstrated by the improvement of skin elasticity, characterized by an increase of R-parameters (R2, R5, and R7) and a decrease of RRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S71684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4321565PMC
September 2015

Oxidative stability of cosmetic argan oil: a one-year study.

J Cosmet Sci 2014 Mar-Apr;65(2):81-7

University Mohammed V-Agdal, Rabat, Morocco (S.G., H.H., B.K., Z.C.), University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, Reims, France (D. G.), Universiapolis, Agadir, Morocco (I. C.-M.), and INRA-CRRA Agadir, Morocco (Z.B.).

The objective of this work is to determine the chemical stability of cosmetic argan oil (INCI: Argania spinosa kernel oil). The methodology involves the repeated measurement over a 1-year period of the quality metrics used in the cosmetic industry: acid and peroxide value and specific absorbance. During this year, storage is performed at 40° or 25°C to assess the importance of temperature. In this latter case, oil samples have been either protected or exposed to sunlight. In addition, sterol and fatty acid composition is determined to attest argan oil chemical integrity over 1 year. Storage of argan oil at 40°C results in a rapid loss of quality. Stored at 25°C and protected from sunlight, argan oil quality is still satisfactory after 12 months according to the official Moroccan norm, but storage should not be longer than 6 months to fulfill industrial standards.
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June 2014

Argan oil and postmenopausal Moroccan women: impact on the vitamin E profile.

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Jan;8(1):55-7

Laboratoire de chimie des plantes, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, Faculty of Science, BP1014 Rabat, Morocco.

Vitamin E supplements could be beneficial for postmenopausal women. To evaluate the effect of edible argan oil consumption on the antioxidant status of postmenopausal women, the vitamin E serum level of 151 menopausal women consuming either olive or argan oil was determined. Serum level of vitamin E was increased in the argan oil consumer group. Therefore, an argan oil-enriched diet can be recommended to help prevent some postmenopausal disorders.
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January 2013

Triterpenoids from Argania spinosa: 20 years of research.

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Jan;8(1):43-6

Department of Biochemistry, Universiapolis, BP 8143, Agadir, Morocco.

During the last two decades, the argan tree has been the subject of intensive phytochemical investigation. If argan oil is the most known argan derivative, argan saponins are frequently considered as molecules presenting a strong economic potential. This review presents an update of the current research efforts on argan saponins from around the world. Research evidence suggests that arganine C can be considered as a lead compound for new antivirals.
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January 2013

Volatile compound formation during argan kernel roasting.

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Jan;8(1):33-6

Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes, BP 1014, Rabat, Morocco.

Virgin edible argan oil is prepared by cold-pressing argan kernels previously roasted at 110 degrees C for up to 25 minutes. The concentration of 40 volatile compounds in virgin edible argan oil was determined as a function of argan kernel roasting time. Most of the volatile compounds begin to be formed after 15 to 25 minutes of roasting. This suggests that a strictly controlled roasting time should allow the modulation of argan oil taste and thus satisfy different types of consumers. This could be of major importance considering the present booming use of edible argan oil.
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January 2013

Chemical changes in extra virgin argan oil after thermal treatment.

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Jan;8(1):29-31

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et Synthèse Organique, Département de Chimie, Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, BP1014, Rabat, Morocco.

Physicochemical parameters, measured every 6 hours, of extra virgin argan oil heated for 24 h at 180 degrees C were investigated and compared with those of five other edible oils treated in the same thermoxidative condition. Argan oil was found to be particularly stable at high temperature, its level of polar compounds remaining low even after 24 h of heating.
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January 2013

Can fruit-form be a marker for argan oil production?

Nat Prod Commun 2013 Jan;8(1):25-8

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et de Synthèse Organique et Bioorganique, Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, BP 1014- Rabat, Morocco.

Deforestation is an important matter for the argan forest whose preservation necessitates planting trees. Macroscopic parameters are urgently needed to identify trees presenting good potential as oil producers. This study demonstrates that argan oil produced from kernels of apiculate fruit is richer in d-tocopherol, whereas oil produced from spherical fruit is richer in linoleic acid, and that produced from fusiform fruit is richer in oleic acid. Therefore, the use of fruit-form as a marker could permit an easy organic production of "naturally enriched" oils.
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January 2013

Can the dietary element content of virgin argan oils really be used for adulteration detection?

Food Chem 2013 Jan 1;136(1):105-8. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Department of Chemistry, University Mohammed V-Agdal Rabat, Morocco.

Levels of eight dietary elements were assessed by ICP-AES in virgin edible and beauty argan oil samples prepared from four remote locations of the argan forest, and over a three-year period. The data showed sufficiently little variability to assess that all argan oil samples present, in terms of dietary elements, a similar composition, independently from the tree location within the argan forest. Therefore, adulteration detection by trace element analysis in edible and beauty argan oil is a method that can be generalised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.07.098DOI Listing
January 2013

The origin of virgin argan oil's high oxidative stability unraveled.

Nat Prod Commun 2012 May;7(5):621-4

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et Synthèse Organique, Département de Chimie, Faculté des Sciences, Université MohammedV-Agdal, BP1014, Rabat, Morocco.

To prepare either virgin edible or beauty argan oil, roasted or unroasted argan kernels are cold-pressed, respectively. Comparing the physicochemical parameters of edible and beauty argan oil immediately after preparation and after a two-year delay has led to the suggestion that phospholipids are a new and essential type of oil component participating in the excellent oxidative stability of edible argan oil, in addition to the already suggested Maillard-reaction products, phenols, and tocopherols.
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May 2012

Argan oil. Monograph.

Altern Med Rev 2011 Sep;16(3):275-9

School of Medicine-Pharmacy, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France.

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September 2011

Influence of argan kernel roasting-time on virgin argan oil composition and oxidative stability.

Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2011 Jun;66(2):163-8

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et Synthèse Organique et Bioorganique, Faculté des Sciences, Université MohammedV-Agdal, BP1014, Rabat, Morocco.

Virgin argan oil, which is harvested from argan fruit kernels, constitutes an alimentary source of substances of nutraceutical value. Chemical composition and oxidative stability of argan oil prepared from argan kernels roasted for different times were evaluated and compared with those of beauty argan oil that is prepared from unroasted kernels. Prolonged roasting time induced colour development and increased phosphorous content whereas fatty acid composition and tocopherol levels did not change. Oxidative stability data indicate that kernel roasting for 15 to 30 min at 110 °C is optimum to preserve virgin argan oil nutritive properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11130-011-0220-xDOI Listing
June 2011

Long argan fruit drying time is detrimental for argan oil quality.

Nat Prod Commun 2010 Nov;5(11):1799-802

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et de Synthèse Organique et Bioorganique, Facultè des Sciences, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, BP 1014- Rabat, Morocco.

Argan oil is extracted from the kernels of argan fruits that have been sun-dried for either a few days or up to several weeks. The influence of the fruit drying time on the quantity, quality, and preservation of solvent-extracted argan oil was compared with press-extracted argan oil. Quantitatively, the time necessary for efficient fruit peeling and the amount of extracted oil were determined with regard to the fruit drying time (0 to 28 days). Argan oil quality was studied using, as markers, moisture content, specific extinction, acid index, peroxide index, fatty acid composition, and Rancimat oxidative stability. Oil from fresh fruit presents a high moisture content, high acidity and peroxide values, and short shelf life. Ten to fourteen days of sun-drying is optimum to obtain high quality argan oil.
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November 2010

Therapeutic potential of argan oil: a review.

J Pharm Pharmacol 2010 Dec;62(12):1669-75

Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Laboratoire de Chimie Thérapeutique, 51 Rue Cognacq Jay, 51100 Reims, France.

Objectives: The therapeutic benefits of argan oil consumption have been claimed by natives of Morocco and explorers for more than eight centuries. However, argan oil has remained unresearched for a long time. Traditionally, argan oil has been well known for its cardioprotective properties and it is also used in the treatment of skin infections. Argan oil is principally composed of mono-unsaturated (up to 80%) and saturated (up to 20%) fatty acids. As minor components, it contains polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, squalene, and triterpene alcohols. Together with the mono-unsaturated fatty acids, these minor components are likely to be responsible for its beneficial effects. This review aims to present an overview of the known pharmacological properties of argan oil.

Key Findings: Antiproliferative, antidiabetic, and cardiovascular-protective effects of argan oil have been particularly actively evaluated over the last 5 years in order to build on phytochemical studies that indicate the presence of large amounts of possibly pharmacologically active compounds.

Summary: This review shows that a lack of clinical data constitutes a serious weakness in our knowledge about argan oil, therefore it is difficult to correlate the reported pharmacological activities to any potential clinical relevance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2042-7158.2010.01190.xDOI Listing
December 2010

Composition of the essential oil of Argania spinosa (Sapotaceae) fruit pulp.

Nat Prod Commun 2010 Jun;5(6):935-6

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et Synthèse organique et Bioorganique, Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, BP1014 Rabat, Morocco.

The composition of the essential oil from the fresh and dried pulp of the fruit of Argania spinosa (Skeels) L. has been studied. Camphor was the major component in both oil types, but in addition, the fresh fruit oil had significant amounts of 1,8-cineole, endo-borneol, and 2-(4-methylcyclohex-3-enyl)-propan-2-ol., and the dried pulp oil 3,5-dimethyl-4-ethylidene-cyclohex-2-ene-1-one, 1,8-cineole, and 2-methylbutanoic acid. The presence of camphor and 1,8-cineole in argan fruit essential oil suggests that it could be used locally as an insect repellent, offering an output for argan fruit pulp that is at present a waste product.
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June 2010

Should the amazigh diet (regular and moderate argan-oil consumption) have a beneficial impact on human health?

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2010 May;50(5):473-7

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes, Faculte des Sciences Mohammed V-Agdal, Rabat, Morocco.

Virgin argan oil, cosmetic or dietary grade, is prepared by cold-pressing the kernels of argan fruits. Both types of oil, traditionally used by the amazighs (the argan grove traditional dwellers), are now available on the shelves of the most-developed country stores. Argan oil contains a high level of oleic and linoleic acid and is also particularly rich in phenols. Since these metabolites are currently considered as essential to explain some of the protective effects against cancer and coronary heart disease attributed to other oils, similar effects can be expected from argan oil consumption as suggested by the amazigh medicine claims. Interestingly, argan oil content in gamma -tocopherol is much higher than that of any other oils. gamma -Tocopherol has recently been shown to possess strong chemopreventive and anti-inflammatory properties. This indicates that argan oil should readily find a place of choice amid the most profitable oils for human health. Because of its reduced geographical origin, the chemical composition (major as well as minor components) of argan oil is also highly reproducible. Therefore argan oil consumption should confer health benefits in a reliable and efficient manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408390802544520DOI Listing
May 2010

Fish oil and argan oil intake differently modulate insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in a rat model of dietary-induced obesity.

Metabolism 2009 Jul;58(7):909-19

Department of Pharmacology, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

We investigated the potential metabolic benefits of fish oil (FO) or vegetable argan oil (AO) intake in a dietary model of obesity-linked insulin resistance. Rats were fed a standard chow diet (controls), a high-fat/high-sucrose (HFHS) diet, or an HFHS diet in which 6% of the fat was replaced by either FO or AO feeding, respectively. The HFHS diet increased adipose tissue weight and insulin resistance as revealed by increased fasting glucose and exaggerated glycemic and insulin responses to a glucose tolerance test (intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test). Fish oil feeding prevented fat accretion, reduced fasting glycemia, and normalized glycemic or insulin responses to intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test as compared with HFHS diet. Unlike FO consumption, AO intake failed to prevent obesity, yet restored fasting glycemia back to chow-fed control values. Insulin-induced phosphorylation of Akt and Erk in adipose tissues, skeletal muscles, and liver was greatly attenuated in HFHS rats as compared with chow-fed controls. High-fat/high-sucrose diet-induced insulin resistance was also confirmed in isolated hepatocytes. Fish oil intake prevented insulin resistance by improving or fully restoring insulin signaling responses in all tissues and isolated hepatocytes. Argan oil intake also improved insulin-dependent phosphorylations of Akt and Erk; and in adipose tissue, these responses were increased even beyond values observed in chow-fed controls. Taken together, these results strongly support the beneficial action of FO on diet-induced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, an effect likely explained by the ability of FO to prevent HFHS-induced adiposity. Our data also show for the first time that AO can improve some of the metabolic and insulin signaling abnormalities associated with HFHS feeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2009.02.013DOI Listing
July 2009

Role of hypaphorine in the toxicity of Astragalus lusitanicus.

Nat Prod Res 2008 Mar;22(5):453-7

Département de Pharmacie Toxicologie et Biochimie, Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II BP 6202, Rabat-Instituts, Morocco.

Hypaphorine, an alpha-N,N,N-trimethyltryptophan betaine, was isolated, for the first time, from Astragalus lusitanicus Lam. (Fabaceae), a plant highly toxic for lambs and goats. This alkaloid was characterized by NMR and MS analysis. Hypaphorine was previously reported to be a convulsive poison. To confirm the toxicity, it was synthesized and tested in goats. Hypaphorine was shown to be non-toxic for goats even at a high dose of 2 g kg(-1) by oral administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786410701591986DOI Listing
March 2008

Insulin-sensitizing and anti-proliferative effects of Argania spinosa seed extracts.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2006 Sep 11;3(3):317-27. Epub 2006 Apr 11.

Groupe d’e´tude des prote´ines membranaires, Universite´ deMontre´ al, Montre´ al, Canada.

Argania spinosa is an evergreen tree endemic of southwestern Morocco. Many preparations have been used in traditional Moroccan medicine for centuries to treat several illnesses including diabetes. However, scientific evidence supporting these actions is lacking. Therefore, we prepared various extracts of the argan fruit, namely keel, cake and argan oil extracts, which we tested in the HTC hepatoma cell line for their potential to affect cellular insulin responses. Cell viability was measured by Trypan Blue exclusion and the response to insulin evaluated by the activation of the extracellular regulated kinase (ERK1/2), ERK kinase (MEK1/2) and protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) signaling components. None of the extracts demonstrated significant cytotoxic activity. Certain extracts demonstrated a bi-phasic effect on ERK1/2 activation; low doses of the extract slightly increased ERK1/2 activation in response to insulin, whereas higher doses completely abolished the response. In contrast, none of the extracts had any significant effect on MEK whereas only a cake saponin subfraction enhanced insulin-induced PKB/Akt activation. The specific action of argan oil extracts on ERK1/2 activation made us consider an anti-proliferative action. We have thus tested other transformed cell lines (HT-1080 and MSV-MDCK-INV cells) and found similar results. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activation was also associated with decreased DNA synthesis as evidenced by [(3)H]thymidine incorporation experiments. These results suggest that the products of Argania spinosa may provide a new therapeutic avenue against proliferative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nel015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1513146PMC
September 2006

Colorimetric evaluation of phenolic content and GC-MS characterization of phenolic composition of alimentary and cosmetic argan oil and press cake.

J Agric Food Chem 2005 Nov;53(23):9122-7

Laboratoire de Chimie des Substances Végétales, Université Bordeaux 1, 33405 Talence, France.

The global phenolic content of argan oil and press cake samples (alimentary and cosmetic) was evaluated using the Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric method and the phenolic composition of argan oil (alimentary and cosmetic) and press cake (alimentary) samples were analyzed by GC-MS after extraction with 80:20 (v/v) methanol:water and silylation. Identification of chromatographic peaks was made by mass selective detection. Nineteen simple phenols were detected, 16 in press cake, 6 in the alimentary oil, and 7 in the cosmetic oil, among which 15 compounds [3-hydroxypyridine (3-pyridinol), 6-methyl-3-hydroxypyridine, catechol, resorcinol, 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol, vanillin, 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, vanillyl alcohol, 3,4-dihydroxybenzyl alcohol, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenethyl alcohol, methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate, hydroxytyrosol, protocatechuic acid, epicatechin, and catechin] were identified for the first time in such materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf051082jDOI Listing
November 2005

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

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

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.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf040290tDOI Listing
March 2005

Triterpenoid saponins from the shells of Argania spinosa seeds.

J Agric Food Chem 2002 Jul;50(16):4600-3

Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes et de Synthèse Organique et Bioorganique, Faculté des Sciences, University of Rabat, B.P. 1041, RP Rabat, Morocco.

Two new oleanene saponins were isolated from the MeOH extract of the shell of Argania spinosa. They possess protobassic acid and 16alpha-protobassic acid as aglycons. The disaccharide moiety linked to C-3 of the aglycon is made up of two glucose units; the pentasaccharide moiety linked to C-28 is made up of arabinose, xylose, and three rhamnose units. Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR experiments including (1)H-(1)H (DQF-COSY, 1D TOCSY, and 2D HOHAHA) and (1)H-(13)C (HSQC and HMBC) spectroscopy along with mass spectrometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf0200117DOI Listing
July 2002
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