The fruits are picked by hand, thoroughly cleaned and sorted. Seeds are removed and naturally dried. Properly stored, the dried seeds await extraction or cold pressing of the oil – mechanical, without chemical preparations. A 100% natural oil or extra virgin oil is thus obtained.
Oil extraction from cactus seeds is a long process. It takes 1 tonne of fruit, in which there are 25 kg of seeds, to produce 1 litre of oil, since each seed contains only about 5% oil.
The oil contains high concentrations of tocopherol (vitamin E) and essential fatty acids (linoleic acid or omega 6). Opuntia oil contains more tocopherol than any other oil available in the cosmetic industry. It contains 150% more tocopherol than, for example, argan oil. Tocopherol is a powerful antioxidant and an anti-free radical scavenger.
Each seed contains only about 5% of oil, so for the production of 1-liter of Prickly Pear seed oil it takes about one ton (1000 kg) of fruits in order to extract approximately 25 kg of seeds (somewhere around 1 million Prickly Pear seeds).