Almond Picture, flower and seeds

Almond Oil Br. US
Compiled and Edited by
Ivor Hughes

(1) A Textbook of Pharmacognosy. Denston T.C. (Br.)
(2) United States Dispensatory 1926

(1) A Textbook of Pharmacognosy. Denston T.C. (Br.)
This is an abbreviated extract.
Sweet Oil of Almond; Expressed Almond Oil.
Official Source :
The seeds of - (i) Prunus amygdalus Batsch. var. dulcis (DO.) Koehru (Sweet Almond)
(ii) Prunus amygdalus Batsch., var. amara (DO.) Focke (Bitter Almond)
Fam : Rosaceae.
Geographical Source :
Spain, Southern France, for sweet almonds. Morocco and Sicily, for bitter  almonds.
Preparation : By cold expression, sweet almonds yielding about 45 per cent and bitter  almonds, the chief source, about 40 per cent of oil.

Constituents :

Glycerides, the fatty acid constituents of which are chiefly oleic acid with smaller amounts of palmitic, linoleic and myristic acids.

Tests :
The four adulterants for which specific tests are prescribed are ;
1. Cottonseed oil -- detected by Halphen's test.
2. Sesame oil --detected by Baudouin's test.
3. Arachis Oil --detected by the tests referred to on page 512.
4. Apricot  Kernel oil and Peach Kernel oil-detected as follows: The reagent used is  Bieber's, and consists of equal weights of sulphuric acid, fuming nitric acid, and water-freshly mixed before use.

The test is as follows.
Thoroughly shake 5 ml. of oil with 1 ml. of reagent and set aside for 15  minutes. If the almond oil is free from kernel oils, a mixture either whitish or with but the faintest reddish-brown tinge will be formed, and upon standing for some hours (during which time the mixture separates into two layers)  the lower (acid) layer will be colourless. If kernel oils are present to the  extent of 20 per cent or more, the mixture will be reddish-brown-the degree of  coloration depending upon the proportion of kernel oils present. The Pharmacopoeia requires negative results with all the above tests.

Source : (Br) A Textbook of Pharmacognosy. Denston T.C.

(2) United States Dispensatory 1926

(Br.) EXPRESSED OIL OF ALMOND. Ol. Amygd. Exp. Oil of Sweet Almond. The fixed  oil obtained from the kernels of varieties of Amygdalus communis.

This oil is obtained equally pure from sweet and from bitter almonds. In its preparation, the almonds, having been deprived of a reddish-brown powder  adhering to their surface, by being rubbed together in a piece of coarse linen,  are ground in a mill resembling a coffee-mill, or bruised in a stone mortar, and  then pressed in canvas sacks between plates of iron slightly heated. The oil,  which is at first turbid, is clarified by rest and filtration. Sometimes the  almonds are steeped in very hot water, deprived of their cuticle, and dried in a stove, previous to expression. The oil is thus obtained free from color, but in no other respect better, while it is more likely to become rancid on keeping.  Bitter almonds treated in this way impart an odor of hydrocyanic acid to the  oil. The yield of oil from the sweet almond is from 40 to 55 per cent. and  slightly less from the bitter. Though sometimes expressed in this country from  imported almonds, the oil is generally brought from Europe.

Description and Physical Properties.
A clear, pale straw-colored or colorless, oily liquid. It is almost odorless,  and has a bland taste. It is slightly soluble in alcohol, but is miscible with  ether, chloroform, benzene, and with petroleum benzin.
Saponification value: not less than 191 and not more than 200. Iodine value: not less than 93 and not more than 100. Preserve in well .closed  containers.
U.S. Pale yellow. Nearly inodorous; taste bland and nutty. Specific gravity 0.915 to 0.920.
Saponification value
183 to 196; iodine value 93  to 100; acid value not more than 6.0.
Refractive index at 40 C. 1.4624 to 1.4640. Remains clear after exposure  for three hours to a temperature of -10 C., and does not congeal till the  temperature has been reduced to about -18C. When 1 milliliter of a freshly  prepared mixture of equal parts by weight of sulphuric acid) fuming nitric acid,  and water, kept cool while cautiously mixed, is vigorously shaken with 5  milliliters of the Oil for one minute, a whitish mixture with not more than the  very slightest tinge of red or brown is produced ; after some hours a white  solid, sometimes tinged with green, separates, the lower acid layer remaining  colorless (absence of peach oil and apricot oil)." Br. , Expressed oil of almond  consists chiefly of olein with traces of linolein; there is no stearin present.  It belongs among the "non-drying" oils. It is sometimes adulterated with oils  from peach or apricot kernels; these are excluded by the test of the U.S. 
Uses.-.The expressed oil of almonds possesses the emollient properties of the other fixed oils over most of which it has the advantage of comparative  tastelessness, and freedom from odor and its lack of tendency to become gummy. 

Br. SWEET ALMOND Amygd. Dulc:

Sweet Almond is the ripe seed of Prunus Amygdalus Stokes, var. dulcis, Baill.  Known in commerce as the Jordan almond.
Br. Semen Amygdali : Dulce; Amandee douce., Fr. Cod; Amyg-  dalmDulce., P. G.; Susse Mandeln, G.; Mandorle dolci, It.; Almendra dulce, Sp. For description of the almond tree see Amygdala  Amara.

We are supplied with sweet almonds chiefly from Spain, Italy, France, and Southern California. They are seperated into the soft-shelled and hard-shelled,  the former of which come from Marseilles and Bordeaux, the latter from Malaga.  From the latter port they are sometimes brought to us without the shell. In British commerce, the two chief varieties are the Jordan and Valencia almonds,  the former imported from Malaga, the latter from Valencia. The former are  longer, narrower, more pointed, arid more highly esteemed than the latter.
Properties.-Each kernel consists of two white cotyledons, enclosed in a thin, yellowish- brown, bitter skin, which. is easily separable after immersion  in boiling water. Deprived of this covering, they are called blanched almonds.  On exposure to the air they are apt to become rancid; but, if thoroughly dried  and kept in well-closed glass vessels, they may be preserved unaltered for many  years. Sweet almonds, when blanched, are without odor, and have a sweet, very  pleasant taste, which has rendered them a favorite article of diet in all  countries where they are readily attainable. " About two and a half centimeters  or somewhat more in length, nearly oblong in outline, more or less compressed, pointed at one extremity and rounded at the other. Testa cinnamon- brown, thin  and scaly. Seed exalbuminous, containing two large planoconvex oily cotyledons.  Taste bland; when triturated with water forms a white emulsion with no marked  odor." Br. .

The U. S. IX gave the following description of the microscopic  appearance. " The powder is creamy-white, exhibiting numerous very small oil.  globules, 0.001 mm. or less in diameter, and larger oil globules and  crystalloids, the latter sometimes with adhering globoids; fragments of  parenchyma of endosperm, containing oil globules and aleurone grains; also  occasional fragments of seed coat with characteristic, more or less scattered,  large elliptical, thin-walled, strongly lignified epidermal cells and narrow,  closely spiral tracheae. Starch grains are absent." U. 8. IX. .

Shelled Almonds  are sometimes substituted by the kernels of the peach, plum and apricot. The  stone cells in the epidermal layer of the almond are much larger than in the  kernels of the substitutes. For microscopic distinctions see Winton and  Moeller,' The Microscopy of Vegetable Foods." Almond cake, a by product in the  manufacture of almond oil, is largely used in the preparation of a class of  detergent powders known as "almond meal." It is also used as a diabetic food and  sometimes as an adulterant of ground spices and powdered drugs. By the analysis  of Boullay, it appears that almonds contain 54 parts of fixed oil, 24 of  protein, 6 of uncrystallizable sugar, 3 of gum, 9 of fibrous matter, 3.5 of  water, and 0.5 of acetic acid, comprising loss.

The protein is somewhat  peculiar, consisting of amandin and emulsin, the latter being an enzyme. It may  be obtained separate by treating the emulsin of almonds with ether, allowing  the mixture, after frequent agitation, to stand until a clear fluid separates at  the bottom of the vessel, drawing this off by a siphon, adding alcohol to it so  as to precipitate the emulsion, then washing the precipitate with fresh alcohol,  and drying it under the receiver of an air pump. In this state it is a white  powder, inodorous and tasteless, soluble in water, and insoluble in ether and  alcohol. Its solution has an acid reaction, and, if heated to 100 C., becomes  opaque and milky, and gradually deposits a snow-white precipitate, amounting to  about 10 per cent. of the protein employed. The distinguishing characteristic of  the emulsin is that of producing certain changes noticed previously in  amygdalin, which property it loses when its solution is boiled, although not by  exposure in the solid state to a heat of 100 C. It consists of nitrogen, carbon,  hydrogen, and oxygen, with a minute proportion of Sulphur, and is probably  identical with the synaptase of Robiquet. L. Portes has reported asparagin in  sweet almonds. (N. R., January, 1877.)

The fixed oil is described under the head  of Oleum .Amygdala1 Expressum, to which the reader is referred. Sweet almonds,  when rubbed with water, form a milky emulsion, free from the odor of hydrocyanic acid, the insoluble matters being suspended by the agency of the albuminous,  mucilaginous, and saccharine principles.

Uses.-Sweet almonds have no other  influence on the system than that of a nutrient and demulcent. The emulsion formed by triturating them with water is a pleasant vehicle. From their  nutritive properties, and the absence of starch in their composition, they are  valuable used in the diet of diabetics. Care must be taken when almond meal is  directed to be taken as a food product, as in diabetes, that neither bitter almond meal, which is poisonous, or the factitious product, which contains soap  and is inedible, is supplied. .Almond meal or almond press cake is used for  cosmetic purposes as an addition to the bath or to the water used in washing the  face and hands. Much of the so-called almond meal used for this purpose is  factitious or adulterated. Off. Prep.Mistura Amygdalre, Br. Pulvis Amygdalre  Compositus, Br.

More information may be found in the articles dealing with the volatile or essential oils.