Apricot Seeds​

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March 2017
Food Safety Rumors

​The Rumor

Eating apricot seeds can help cure some types of cancer. Some individuals have developed an eating habit of breaking the apricot seed and eating what is inside.

​The Answer

Ms. Iman Al Bastaki, Director of Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality denied the validity of the circulated rumour that eating apricot seeds was beneficial because it killed some cancer types. “It is not correct and not scientifically proven. In fact, the British Food Agency has issued a warning asking people not to eat apricot seeds, given their lethal compounds.”

Ms. Al-Bastaki urged to stop eating them “to avoid any harm to one’s health. Apricot seeds contain a natural substance called Amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside chemical element. When chewed, this substance releases toxic hydrogen cyanide. This can only be only eliminated by roasting.”

She pointed out that “according to the British Standards Institution, apricot seeds contain a concentrated amount of cyanide. The danger of this substance is eliminated once the apricot seed has been subjected to thermal treatment, as is the case when used in preparing and manufacturing sweets.”

Ms. Al-Bastaki confirmed that “Dubai Municipality is sparing no effort to maintain public health and prevent any risks. The municipality has enlisted a group of inspectors specialized in ensuring public health to handle anything related to food safety, waste treatment or controlling public health pests.”

She also stressed that “the Municipality Director-General has issued clear directives on this matter. There will be no leniency in protecting the health of the people and applying all health local orders, laws and regulations, as well as the Gulf and international standards and specifications adopted to protect public health.”

 

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