Apricot kernels and marzipan

Apricot kernels exist closely connected to almonds of the family of rose since they hold a similar nutritional outline.  The kernels of an apricot are often unpleasant in flavor owing to the varying strengths of amygdalin or B17.  There are different varieties of apricots grown worldwide with each possessing dissimilar amygdalin quantities.

Those that hold very little B17 taste like almonds while those with large concentrations stay generally considered as unpalatable because of their extremely bitter taste.  The apricot is supposed to have stemmed from China where it has been utilized in both therapeutic and culinary capacities for hundreds of years.

Scientific studies since 2005 have made evident its potential efficacy.  In fact, a 2016 study stated that results recommend a potential use of amygdalin by way of a chemopreventive agent to alleviate or prevent breast cancer progression, especially TNBC.  Due to the controversy surrounding bitter apricot cores, many people seem uninformed of their additional common uses.

For example, Amaretto, the ordinary Italian liqueur, is formulated from the acrimonious apricot kernels.  Actually, the Italian term, “amaretto,” means “macaroon” or “a bit bitter.”  In addition, the famous Italian delicacy, Amaretti, are little macaroon biscuits also cooked from kernels of apricots.

The most well-known flavor including apricot kernels nowadays is marzipan.  Although it was formerly traditionally made using bitter almonds, the apricot kernels replaced them because they have become quite difficult to get hold of.  

When created with apricot kernels, marzipan’s paste now called “Persipan.”  Take note that both bitter apricot kernels and almonds contain amygdalin, which can be broken down into constituent parts toward forming benzaldehyde, hydrocyanic acid, and glucose.  

Amygdalin molecules’ benzaldehyde component is commercially sold by way of an almond extract.  And this extract remains often used instead of bitter apricot kernels or almonds to deliver a customary marzipan flavoring in various recipes requiring it.


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