Apricot kernels
Apricot kernels


Apricots are grown mainly in central Asia and around the Mediterranean. With a maximum height of twelve metres, they are considered small trees, which blossom very early on in the season. The tree grows apricots; yellow to orange coloured fruits that look quite like small peaches. Their taste can range from sweet to tart and they have firm, not very juicy flesh.

Inside the apricot, is the seed: the apricot kernel. The shape and brown colour of apricot kernels is very similar to almonds, yet they are smaller. Apricot kernels may be sweet or bitter of taste.

Apricot kernels are consumed raw or roasted and can be ground into a powder and sprinkled into curries, soups, vegetables, fruit juice or cereal. Oil pressed from apricot kernels can also be used as cooking oil. More strong-flavoured or bitter kernels often feature in recipes for apricot jam, and Italian amaretto cookies and liqueur. Apricot kernels are often used as a substitute for almonds.

The apricot seed has a high percentage of B17, which helps to lower high blood pressure. Apricot kernels are known to contain amygdalin, a purported and sometimes dangerous alternative cancer treatment. Taken in excess, they may produce symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Sweet apricot kernels contain significantly lower levels of amygdalin than bitter apricot kernels.


The industry distinguishes over 40 different apricot varieties. Generally, all wild growing apricots are slightly sour. They can be recognised by their pink blossoms and produce bitter kernels. Sweet apricots, with white blossoms, are a man-made variety; a result of grafting apricots on plum trees. Sweet apricots also have the sweet kernels.


Apricot kernels are not assorted by size, but only by taste (sweet or bitter).

Sweet kernels are longish and very similar to almonds; bitter apricot kernels are heart-shaped.


Apricot kernels, preferably sweet ones, are used for the production of persipan, which is a marzipan substitute, amaretto liqueur and cookies and oil. The oil of the nut is used for cooking, salad dressings, fuel and as a facial lotion.

Until the 1990’s, some farmers and their families still cracked the stones of the apricots manually. Nowadays this is done mechanically all around the world. The broken shells are separated from the kernels, which are later brushed to get rid of the dust and then filled into bags. In the past the standard content was 80 kg. As this is too heavy for normal handling, the standard in most cases is 50 kg.

Request price


Proximates Units
Energy kcal 884
Protein g 0
Carbohydrate g 0
Fiber g 0

Total fat g 100
Saturated fat g 6,3
Monounsaturated fat g 60
Polyunsaturated fat g 29,3
Cholesterol mg 0

Calcium mg 0
Iron mg 0
Magnesium mg 0
Phosphorus mg 0
Potassium mg 0
Sodium mg 0
Selenium mcg 0

Vitamin A IU 0
Vitamin B6 mg 0
Vitamin C mg 0
Vitamin E mg 4
Vitamin K mcg 0
Carotene, beta mcg 0
Carotene, alpha mcg 0
Cryptoxanthin, beta mcg 0
Lutein + zeanxanthin mcg 0
"Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26 (2013)"
g = gram; mg = miligram ; mcg = microgram; IU = International Units


Apricot kernels are grown in the USA, Central Asia and the Mediterranean.

Biggest supplier for sour dried apricots is Iran, which has the growing areas in Täbris and Sharoud.

In Turkey the trees with the sweet apricot kernels grow in the region of Malatya and with the bitter apricot kernels around Aydin. 


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec