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oil of bitter almond

 

Definition: volatile oil from the dried ripe kernels of bitter almonds or from other kernels containing amygdalin, such as apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries; obtained by steam distillation after maceration of the source with water. Formerly used as an antipruritic; poisonous—releases hydrocyanic acid (hydrogen cyanide). Only the oil free of hydrogen cyanide may be used to flavor liquors and foods.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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