Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Apricot; Barilla; Prunus armeniaca L.; Xingren

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The apricot (from Latin praecox = precocious; "armeniaca" designates Armenia as the country of origin assumed earlier), a small to medium-sized tree with a broad and dense crown, is a stone fruit of the rose family (Rosaceae). The apricot is one of the oldest cultivated fruit varieties. Its original home is China and the highlands between the Caspian and Black Seas. Today it is cultivated worldwide. The largest cultivation area in the world is in Turkey.

General information
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The bark of the apricot is glossy, reddish to dark brown; the leaves are stalked, heart-shaped, pointed, about 5x 7 cm in size, the leaf edge often double serrated. The flowers appear before the leaves; they are white to pinkish red in colour. The flowering period of the apricot is from March to April.

Its fruits, the actual apricots, are 4-8 cm in size, spherical to oval stone fruits. Their skin is velvety, sometimes even smooth, and from light yellow to orange-yellow in colour. The flesh is white, yellow or intense orange, juicy. The fruit contains an almond-shaped, hard seed. When crushed it develops a marzipan aroma.
Apricots are mainly offered as fresh fruit; furthermore as dried fruit or as jam. The kernel tastes bitter, has a strong bitter almond aroma and is used in the production of persipan and amaretto.

The apricot kernels are used to produce the apricot kernel oil "Prunus armeniaca kernel oil (INCI)", which is used in the kitchen for cooking, frying and baking. The apricot kernel oil serves as the basis for numerous skin care products.