Sample of bitter almond nuts from Victoria and India, circa 1888.

Bitter almond nuts are poisonous owing to a high hydrogen cyniade level. Essential oil of almonds is made from the kernels in North Africa and South West Asia.
The essence is used in small amounts to flavour confectionery, wines, cordials, pastry, etc. The kernels themselves are sometimes used for flavouring and can be ground down to form a paste that can then be used as a condiment, although a very low percentage of bitter almonds are used due to their toxicity.

Physical Description

Nuts sample in glass domed jar with labels.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    T.N. Mukharji Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Home & Community, Sustainable Futures

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Indian Government, Date Range 1887 - 11 Apr 1918

  • Collector

    T. N. Mukharji, India, pre 1887
    Collected part of sample from India.

  • Inscriptions

    First label: '[handwritten] 3204 / [printed] SCIENCE MUSEUM'. Second label: '[handwritten] 3204 Rosaceae / PRUNUS AMYGDALUS var Stak / AMARA, Baillon. / Bitter Almond. [Nth Africa / S.W. Asia.] From The kernels / Esential [sic] Oil of Almonds is made / which is used in making Essence of almonds for flavouring confect / ionary, wines, cordials, pastry, etc. The kernels themselves are also sometimes / used for flavouring. / [printed] H.B. SELBY & Co. PTY. LTD.'.

  • Classification

    Economic botany, Foods, Seeds

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Exhibition Collection Management

    55 mm (Length), 55 mm (Width), 125 mm (Height)

  • Keywords

    Food, Rose Family (Rosaceae)