So stone fruit pits I've been told taste a lot like almonds. I've been told that you can make an extract, much like almond extract, out of them as well. I've also heard that stone fruit pits contain cyanide. Reading about this a bit more closely it seems that they actually contain something called amygdalin which contains cyanide and can be released into the body when injested. Pub chem lists amygdala as "slightly soluble in alcohol" but I'm not exactly sure what that means. It leads me to believe that making an extract out of stonepit fruits might be dangerous. However I've seen other culinary sources claiming its safe like this one: https://food52.com/blog/10809-how-to-use-stone-fruit-pits. I'm more inclined to play it safe than trust such a thing.

Is there a trustworthy source that says this is safe? Is there a trustworthy source that says this isn't safe?

  • Welcome to the site! There are many stone fruits out there, which ones are you considering using?
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 7:20
  • I mean any that I find when they're in season. Ideally if there's a difference I'd like to know which are safe and which aren't
    – Jake
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 23:47
  • 2
    The pits of drupes (or stone fruit) taste like almonds because almonds are drupes. And almonds have cyanide in them. Bitter almonds have especially high levels and bitter almond extract can be lethal, even in small doses. I don't know whether, or which other drupes are safe, but if you don't get a confident assurance that some of them are, I'd caution you against trying it for yourself. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793392
    – Juhasz
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 3:55
  • To clarify, I'm not going to try this without a reputable source telling me clearly that its safe. Why would anyone use bitter almond extract then? I thought most almond extract was made from bitter almond.
    – Jake
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 5:20
  • 1
    The flavor of almond extract comes from benzaldehyde, which can be separated (or mostly separated) from the hydrogen cyanide through some kind of chemical process (chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/53629/…). Natural almond extract still contains some amount of cyanide and some producers include such a warning on their packaging. So, it seems like there are things you could do to lower the risk, but probably nothing to eliminate it.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 16:25


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