Cyanogenic glycosides are natural plant toxicants. Action by endogenous plant enzymes can release hydrogen cyanide causing potential toxicity issues for animals including humans. We have quantified amygdalin in seeds from different apple varieties, determined the effects of processing on the amygdalin content of apple juice and quantified amygdalin in commercially-available apple juices. Amygdalin contents of seeds from fifteen varieties of apples ranged from 1 mg g(-1) to 4 mg g(-1). The amygdalin content of commercially-available apple juice was low, ranging from 0.01 to 0.04 mg ml(-1) for pressed apple juice and 0.001-0.007 mg ml(-1) for long-life apple juice. Processing led to juice with low amygdalin content, ranging from 0.01 mg ml(-1) to 0.08 mg ml(-1). The results presented show that the amygdalin contents of commercially-available apple juices are unlikely to present health problems to consumers.
Keywords: Amygdalin; Apple juice; Apples; Cyanogenic glycosides; Pasteurisation.
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