Fact Check Story: Apple seeds do contain cyanide but not poisonous enough to kill a person
New Delhi | Urvashi Kapoor: Jagran New Media’s Fact Checking website Vishvas News debunked a post on social media that shows a claim stating that apple seeds contain cyanide – so even if the apple tastes good…looks good…. do not eat the poisonous seeds. Vishvas News investigated and found that apple seeds do contain cyanide, but not enough to kill a person. The viral post is missing crucial context.
When Vishvas News investigated by searching whether apple seeds contain cyanide, it found that Cyanide is a chemical known as one of the deadliest poisons. It has been used in chemical warfare and mass suicide. Many compounds that contain cyanide—called cyanoglycosides—are found in nature, often in fruit seeds. Amygdalin is one of these.
Apple seeds, and many other fruit seeds or pits, have a strong outer layer resistant to digestive juices. But if you chew the seeds, amygdalin could be released in the body and produce cyanide. Small amounts can be detoxified by enzymes in your body. However, large amounts can be dangerous.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cyanide is a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that kills by preventing cells in the body from using oxygen.
As per CDC, 1–2 mg/kg is a fatal oral dose of cyanide for a 154 lbs. man. Most apple cores contain around 5 apple seeds.
However, this amount will vary based on the health of the plant but not all of that translates into cyanide. A finely chewed and eaten dose of large number of apple cores can lead to a fatal dose.
So, ingesting few seeds isn’t going to kill unless a large amount is crushed and taken orally.
Vishvas News, in its investigation, found that the claim that apple seeds contain cyanide and eating them can kill a person is missing crucial context.
This fact check story of Vishvas News and its step by step debunking process can be read here.
To read other fact check stories by Vishvas News, click here.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma