Is cherry juice toxic if the pits are ground into the juice?

Asked July 1, 2018, 2:26 PM EDT

Doug Stephens (of Anchorage Alaska)asked Leslie S about the toxicity in the pits of cherries. Leslie was going to answer his question but didn't as of November of 2016. Is there another place that she may have answered it? I am wondering the same thing as I used a champion juicer (very, very powerful) and it ground the pits along with the cherries. I DID drink about 6 oz of it before I read this about the toxicity of the pits with cyanide. I was and am perfectly find (no ill effects) but wonder about continuing to drink what I have juiced. Please answer this for me and also where the answer to his post was. Thanks!

Story County Iowa nutrition cherries juicing

1 Response

There is no way for me to tell exactly how much amygdalin/cyanide would be in any given dose of juice with pits because the pits vary in cyanide content. But, I must advise you not to drink juice that contains any pulverized pits. Consuming as few as 3 opened pits has been known to cause acute poisoning. If the hard outer pit is not open, there is not a problem. But, if the inner kernal is exposed (through grinding) you will be exposed to some level of cyanide.

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907-474-2426; lashallcross@alaska.edu