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Hydrogen cyanide

Hydrogen cyanide is a colourless to slightly yellowish, flammable, highly volatile and water-soluble liquid. It is a highly poisonous (toxic) substance. The symptoms of acute poisoning range from headache, shortness of breath, dizziness and convulsions to coma and death. Prussic acid is found, among other things, in bamboo shoots, bitter almonds, beans and seeds of stone fruits (apricots, peaches, cherries, plums, mangoes).

During the production of spirits from stone fruit, a relatively high amount of the problematic substance ethyl carbamate can be formed by the prussic acid of the stones. During winemaking, prussic acid can be formed in connection with the control of the wine defect blue fining if the bitter almond note is used improperly.

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Egon Mark

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Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

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