Australian raw apricot kernel cyanide risk

The kid has taken to eating dried apricots as a bedtime snack.

But I don’t know anything about raw apricot kernels.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand apparently does and is changing its advice: that it is unsafe for adults to eat more than three raw apricot kernels apricot.kernel(with skin on) per day. Children should not eat any.

Some plant based foods, such as raw apricot kernels contain cyanide which can pose a risk to consumers.

Apricot kernels are edible nut-like objects found within the stone of fresh apricots. There are different types of apricot kernels—those with the skin on contain high levels of cyanide that can be released into the body when eaten. Those with the skin off also contain cyanide, but at lower levels.

There have been reports of poisoning incidents in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe from eating raw apricot kernels.

In 2011 a consumer in Queensland was hospitalised after consuming raw apricot kernels with high levels of hydrocyanic acid. At the time, FSANZ warned consumers not to consume raw apricot kernels.

Based on new information, FSANZ has revised its earlier advice and now advises that it is unsafe for adults to eat more than three raw apricot kernels (with skin on) per day. Children should not eat any.

Consuming processed foods derived from apricot kernels (e.g. amaretti biscuits, almond finger biscuits, apricot jams, and apricot nectar) doesn’t pose a risk because processing or cooking these foods reduces cyanide to safe levels.