oil of bitter almond


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oil of bit·ter al·mond

volatile oil from the dried ripe kernels of bitter almonds or from other kernels containing amygdalin, such as apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries; obtained by steam distillation after maceration of the source with water. Formerly used as an antipruritic; poisonous-releases hydrocyanic acid (hydrogen cyanide). Only the oil free of hydrogen cyanide may be used to flavor liquors and foods.