Argan oil contains 12% palmitic acid (C16), 6% stearic acid (C18), 42% oleic acid (C18:1), and about 36% linoleic acid (C18:2), which makes it very similar to pumpkin or sesame oil. It has about 56 mg per kilogram polyphenols and between 480 and 620 mg/kg tocopherols, with about 69% of that amount found in the form of alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E). This means it has a nice long shelf life, although no one will tell me exactly how long, I’d be comfortable with it having about 9 months to a year.
Where argan oil is very interesting in is in the unsaponifiable portion of the the oil, which makes up about 1% of the oil. It has about 37% carotenes, which accounts for its yellowish colour, 20% triterpenic alcohols, 20% phytosterols, and 5% xantophyls.
The phytosterols are very interesting – schottenol and alpha-spinasterol are not often found in vegetable oils. Schottenol may have some anti-tumour effects and alpha spinasterol has some cell stimulation activity. As with all phytosterols, they are also helpful for reducing inflammation.