cyanide issues in fruit pits?

pnbrownAugust 14, 2014

Hi all,

I am making jam from my choke cherries this year. The only feasible way I could think of to get the pits out of these tiny cherries was to simply cook them up whole until the flesh is well-softened and then pass it all throughout a sieve. I did the first batch through a screen using a spoon, and the second batch with the foley mill. In the mill some of the pits broke up.

I knew there is cyanide in stone fruit pits (and apple seeds). It seems that heat may destroy some or all of the cyanide, or not. Then the breaking of the pits got me a bit concerned. In the case of these tiny cherries we are talking about a lot of pits, so if cyanide leached out of the broken ones into the puree, and doesn't cook out, could it be enough to be an issue?

or does this fall into the "if this was dangerous, people would have died of it back in the day" category?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

does this fall into the "if this was dangerous, people would have died of it back in the day" category?

Yup. Between the simmering, the straining and the further cooking, any amygdalin has been cooked off or denatured.

My mom always simmered chokecherries until they burst, stirred them around to mash them a bit, then hung them in a cloth bag to drain off the juice. it's hard to get any busted bits of pits out of the jelly

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The only real threat info I have read is about apricots and peaches (apple seeds apparently pose no threat due to their casing) but nothing comes up on chokecherries.

I would assume the primary risk would be to children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

However insuring that the pits are not included in the end product is strongly recommended. Both methods you used involve a crushing mechanism as opposed to simply draining so for future reference I'd suggest sticking with one of the many draining.straining methods rather than any mechanical crushing.

JMO

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous discussion about this question

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

Thanks for the responses.

Dave, even in the foley mill it was just some pits splitting in half I noticed. Nothing or next nothing ended up in the finished product. With spoon and screen method no pits broke at all, so although a little more laborious I'll do it all that way next time.

I suspect I am being way over-cautious - even if some pit debris were included and thus some amygdalin, presumably one would have to eat a huge amount of jam at one time to get harmed?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glib(5.5)

Yes. Peaches are the worst, but even for them you can eat a few raw pits (they are very similar to almonds in shape and taste) with impunity.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:42PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pressure canning jam?
Hi all -- Ok, I have to admit that I just hate BWB...
fearlessem
Future Leather Help
I made leather out of some super good tasting berry...
CA Kate
Current Botulism cases
The Oregon State Public Health Lab has confirmed that...
Linda_Lou
habanero gold question?
All the directions for habanero gold jelly call for...
jadeite
Pickled beets from store canned beets
I want to can some pickled beets using canned beets...
peanutone
Sponsored Products
Luxury White Horizontal Designer Radiator Heater 25 x 46.25 & Valves
Hudson Reed
Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast Coffee,Vue Cup Portion Pack for Keurig V
Overstock.com
Godinger Shell Fruit Bowl
Classic Hostess
Ninja BL451 Nutri Ninja Pro Deluxe Blender - 622356536486
$109.99 | Hayneedle
Fruit napkins, set of 6 (yellow/green)
Origin Crafts
Set of Two Life on the Beach Mixer Packs
$38.95 | FRONTGATE
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™