DefinitionThis section has been translated automatically.
Amygdalin is a compound from the cyanoglycoside family (hydrocyanic acid glycosides), which cleaves off the cyanohydrins during enzymatic hydrolysis or in the presence of acids, and from these, in the presence of acid HCN, the hydrocyanic acid. Cyanoglycosides are biogenetically derived from amino acids.
Amygdalin forms colourless and odourless crystals, is soluble in water, poorly soluble in ethanol and insoluble in ether. Amygdalin is found in bitter almonds(Prunus dulcis var. amara), peach kernels, apricot kernels, cherry stones and in the seeds of other Rosaceae.
In aqueous solutions amygdalin is split by the enzyme amygdalase into glucose and almond acid nitrile glucoside. Under the influence of the enzyme prunase, almond nitrile glucoside decomposes into glucose and benzaldehyde cyanide; the latter is decomposed by oxynitrilase into bitter almond oil (benzaldehyde) and prussic acid. These 3 enzymes are summarized under the collective name Emulsin.