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Thursday, 27 February 2020
Apricot kernel oil
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Apricot kernel oil is obtained by pressing selected apricot kernels (Prunus armeniaca), using purely mechanical methods (cold-pressed apricot kernel oil). Usually, the cold-pressed oil obtained in this manner is then refined (refined apricot kernel oil).

The apricot tree originated in Western Asia (Armenia) or China. This small tree, with its dark green, lustrous ovoid leaves, likes warmth and is cultivated nowadays mainly in the Mediterranean region, Hungary, South Africa, Australia and the USA (California, Utah). Apricots are enjoyed in their raw form, but they are also used in the preparation of compôtes, marmalade, juice, dried fruit, preserves, fruit jellies, brandy and an apricot liqueur (Marillenlikör). The kernels of this orange-red stone fruit are used in the confectionery industry in a manner similar to that in which almond kernels are used (Persipan, a marzipan substitute).

With their (40-50%) oil content, kernels are also used in the production of apricot kernel oil, which is obtained by passing pulverised apricot kernels through a mechanical press (cold-pressed apricot kernel oil; rarely traded). As a rule, the crude product (if not destined for flavouring) is then refined (refined apricot kernel oil). Cold-pressed apricot kernel oil is a mid-yellow oil with a characteristic smell and taste (apricot), whilst the refined product is pale to mid-yellow, with a mild taste and a faint, characteristic smell.

In particular, apricot kernel oil contains oleic (58-68%), linoleic (22-31%) and palmitic (3-10%) acids. It is quite strongly unsaturated and tends, therefore, to go rancid fairly quickly, which accounts for the fact that it is usually offered for sale in small quantities. Apricots are closely related to almonds. This is reflected in the fatty acid composition of the oil. Differentiation is possible, using a colour reagent, but this is not always entirely reliable. Apricot kernel oil is used almost exclusively by the cosmetics industry, for care products (soaps, ointments, creams) and hair products (shampoos). It is rarely used in the confectionery industry and it is only used extremely rarely as an edible oil.

INCI Name: Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil




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