are Australian apricot kernels different from those imported
a start, though imported apricot kernels may be "raw",
this does not equate to living, unaltered or "100%
natural". This is explained further below.
varieties of apricot grown in Australia are different
to those grown overseas. Each variety of apricot produces
kernels with vastly different characteristics, which includes,
size, shape, amygdalin content and flavour.
the growing standards and processing methods are also
very different. The processing methods most often employed
in large-scale operations ultimately destroy the viability
of the seed. The embryo, found at the very tip of the
kernel, is the most delicate portion of the seed. The
embryo determines a seed's health and viability.
the embryo is no longer viable, the seed enters a state
of decomposition, nutrient deterioration and eventual
rancidity. This is true of all nuts and seeds. The
imported apricot kernels being sold have obvious characteristics
that identify them as deteriorating seed.
you wet the kernels and allow them to sit, you will notice
the strong scent of marzipan. This indicates that a portion
of the inherent amygdalin has already broken down. The
scent of marzipan is due to the liberation of benzaldehyde.
Likewise, the taste of the kernels may also be strongly
characteristic of benzaldehyde, but lacking the strong
bitterness of intact amygdalin. This doesn't happen with
living, viable seed.
the best indicator of a seed's health (or lack of) is
its inability to sprout or grow. Stored properly, a seed
can remain healthy and viable for as long as 4 years,
or longer. Its shelf-life is optimal and its susceptibility
to rancidity is greatly reduced. A kernel that is released
from its shell and exposed to open oxygen deteriorates
through oxidation. There is no telling when an imported
nut or seed was cracked or how long it has been oxidising.
Despite this, its shelf-life is likely indicated from
the time it was packed. This is wrong.
to cooking, quality apricot kernels should be exceptionally
bitter. A mildly bitter characteristic is indicative of
poor quality, age or an inferior variety.