from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A glycoside, C20H27NO11, commonly found in seeds and other plant parts of many members of the rose family, such as kernels of the apricot, peach, and bitter almond, which breaks down into hydrocyanic acid, benzaldehyde, and glucose.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a glycoside of benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide found in bitter almonds, and in the kernels of some other fruit
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A glucoside extracted from bitter almonds as a white, crystalline substance.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A crystalline principle (C20H27NO11 + 3H2O) existing in bitter almonds, and in the leaves, etc., of species of the genus Prunus and of some of its near allies.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a bitter cyanogenic glucoside extracted from the seeds of apricots and plums and bitter almonds
The kernels contain amygdalin, which contains cyanide.
Thus if an animal that has been given amygdalin is then injected with emulsin, hydrocyanic acid will be formed in the blood stream and death will take place at once.
A group of researchers at the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of University of Haifa-Oranim speculate that the toxin called amygdalin that is found in almond tree nectar is in fact an evolutionary
The toxin called amygdalin that is found in almond tree nectar is in fact an evolutionary development intended to give that tree an advantage over others in its surroundings
A group of researchers at the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Science Education at the University of Haifa-Oranim speculate that the toxin called amygdalin that is found in almond tree nectar is in fact an evolutionary development intended to give that tree an advantage over others in its surroundings.
Bitter apricot kernels naturally contain a compound called amygdalin, which has the potential to release cyanide when the kernels are ingested.
Bitter almonds contain two substances: amygdalin which is harmless and emulsin which is harmless too.
A clinical trial of amygdalin was carried out in 1982 by the Mayo Clinic and three other US cancer centers under National Cancer Institute sponsorship, and found that, “No substantive benefit was observed in terms of cure …” and more than 2 of the 178 patients suffered from cyanide toxicity.
But emulsin is a diastase and has the property of breaking up amygdalin, liberating hydrocyanic acid, which is one of the most virulent toxic gases known.
Yet injected separately, neither the amygdalin nor the emulsin has any effect.