Toronto, ON, January 13th
Health Canada recently announced the recall of imported bitter apricot kernels distributed by a Canadian company due to excessive amounts of a natural toxin known as amygdalin. Amygdalin is a cyanogenic glycoside contained in stone fruit kernels (e.g., almonds, apricot, peach and plum) and apple seeds.
According to Health Canada:
Apricot kernels naturally contain cyanogenic glycosides, primarily amygdalin, which has the potential to release cyanide when ingested. Small amounts of cyanide can be detoxified by the human body but high exposures over a short duration can result in severe adverse health effects (i.e., cyanide poisoning). Symptoms of acute cyanide poisoning include weakness and confusion, anxiety, restlessness, headache, nausea, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, seizures, and cardiac arrest.
This recall was triggered after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) performed tests. Fortunately, there had been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product at the time of the recall notice. Consumers are advised to not consume the recalled apricot kernels and the product should be thrown out or returned to the location where it was purchased.
“To protect consumers from cyanide poisoning risks, a maximum level (ML) of 20 ppm total extractable cyanide in apricot kernels sold as food was established in Canada in 2020,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Canada, Inc. “To help companies comply with food safety regulations, EMSL’s laboratories in Canada and the United States offer food chemistry testing for amygdalin and many other substances. These services are also instrumental for preventing costly product recalls.”
To learn more about amygdalin or other food testing and labeling services, please visit www.FoodTestingLab.com or www.emslcanada.ca/, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Canada, Inc.
EMSL Canada is an internationally recognized provider of environmental, indoor air quality, and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.