Almond oil

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A light color, semidrying oil extracted from the seed kernels of the almond. Almond oils contain glycerides of oleic acid (66-77%), linoleic acid (17-23%), palmitic acid (5.5-7.5%), and stearic acid (1.2-3%) (Serpico and White 2000). Sweet almond oil is a pale yellow oil that can be pressed from the fruit of the sweet almond tree (Prunus dulcis). It is used for perfumes, lotions, and food. Bitter almond oil is a colorless liquid that is distilled from the fruit of the bitter almond tree (Prunus dulcis amara). The poisonous oil contains hydrocyanic acid and benzaldehyde. It is also used as a food flavoring after the hydrocyanic acid is removed.

See also nondrying oil.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Prunus dulcis; oleum amygdalae; aceite de almendras (Esp.); huile d'amende (Fr.); olio di mandorle (It)

Hazards and Safety

Almond kernels and oil, unless distilled, from the bitter almond are toxic by ingestion.

Spectrum Chemical (Sweet Almond oil): MSDS

Additional Information

M.Serpico, R.White, "Oil, fat and wax" in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, P.Nicholson, I.Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 390-429.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 32
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983