25 November 2008

Separating the kernels from their shells and then crushing them in a press produces a fixed oil.

Bitter almond oil is not present in the nuts in their natural state.

The prussic acid is removed from the kernels by alkali washing and rectification. The 'almond essence' thus produced is used as a food flavoring.

Botanical Name
Prunus amygdalus var. amara

Originated in Western Asia and North Africa and is widely cultivated in Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt

It contains cyanide (prussic acid) which is a well known poison

Extraction Method
It is extracted by maceration and distillation process. The crushed kernels yield about 30% of a fixed oil similar to sweet almond oil.

The powdered cake left after pressing, is then macerated in water to split the naturally occurring glycoside, amygdaline by enzymatic action, and is then distilled to yield 1% bitter almond essential oil.

Constituents and Chemical Composition
Benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic (prussic acid). It contains cyanide (prussic acid) which is a well known poison

Uses for Health Benefits (Indications)
The 'almond essence' used as a food flavoring

  • This oil should not be used in therapy and should be handled with care
  • The human ingestion of 7.5 ml of Bitter almond oil has resulted in death, so this oil should be handled with great care.


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