Apricot kernels were thought to be safe in low doses, and are called for in many stone fruit jam recipes and biscuits. Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dubai: Eating fruit seeds is not standard practice, and although they may seem harmless, some are actually detrimental to your health.  

Dubai Municipality on Sunday addressed rumour surrounding apricot kernels that have been circulating on social media recently.

The rumours state that apricot seeds are beneficial as it contains compounds that fight against certain types of cancer, which is not the case.

Eman Al Bastaki, director of the food safety department at Dubai Municipality, clarified that apricot seeds are indeed rich in cyanide, which is poisonous.

In the case of exposing apricot seeds to heat, such as when they are cooked and used in sweets, its danger disappears.

Al Bastaki confirmed that the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK issued a warning in 2016, advising people not to eat the raw seeds due to its dangerous components.

The kernels — which come from splitting the stone inside apricots, revealing the hard brown seed within — contain a compound known as amygdalin, which is converted to cyanide in the body.

According to the FSA, a dose of 30 stones is enough to kill someone. It also added that people who consume 10 to 15 stones at a time had reported side effects, such as their fingers going numb.

Al Bastaki added that Dubai Municipality is constantly working to preserve the public health and protect the public's life. It devotes a huge number of observers and inspectors in all fields that are related to public’s health in regards to waste, food or pest control.