Cherry Pit Poisoning in Vinegar

nancedar(z7NC)June 24, 2013

So I bought 70 pounds of wonderful sweet black cherries from Washington State to make jam (with vanilla) and found a recipe for cherry pit vinegar. "Eh," I said, "They are leftovers anyway." So then, reading about cherry pits. find they are like apricot and apple pits as they contain cyanide. Does that poison leach out of the cherry pits or what? Am I making a chemical bomb? What do you know, suspect, think about it?

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According to the Illinois Poison Control Center, ..."Yes, cherries (more precisely, cherry pits) contain a poison. Not an esoteric, unimpressive, unimportant type of poison either, weâÂÂre talking CYANIDE, or rather, a cyanide-like compound called amygdalin. These types of cyanogenic glycosides or cyanogens are found in over 2500 plant species, including apple and pear seeds and in the pits of apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums. When cyanogens are ingested, the human body metabolizes them into cyanide.

But before you snatch these healthy treats away from your kids and shove them down the garbage disposal, realize that the amygdalin is found only in the hard pits or seeds (not the tasty flesh). In order to release the amygdalin, the pits must be chewed up before being swallowed, and the concentration of the toxin is so low that large numbers of seeds or pits are required to cause toxicity."

Sounds as if, to me anyway, your vinegar is fine UNLESS you crushed the pits.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:29AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Risk issues aside, why would one want "cherry pit vinegar" anyway? Is it something that is so useful, so desirable that it is worth the risk?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Your comments made me decide that the best use is a newly disced section of garden where the pits may lie until perhaps they sprout to make trees. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:23AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Nancy, we're all raining on your parade here on this one...:)
You do know if your pits/seeds sprout in Spring, you'll have cherry trees but not the cherry you ate. Essentially all commercial cherries here are hybrid/grafted trees and don't come true from seed.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Yes morz8, I know that, but these are "whatever" seeds/pits that I don't want in my compost and I suppose some wild mice or other harvesters might want them for food so they can get spread for sprouting or not - Eh! I have several acres to play with so they won't be in my way. Worst case is I let them grow big and use them for my woodworking, and, I don't have cattle, horses, or other domestic critters who might be harmed if they eat the tree leaves/bark - I would assume that wild critters know what to avoid anyway since we have wild cherries in our forest. Thanks to all for letting me know that these leftovers are just that.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:16PM
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