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Deadly Sloes? Help!



 
 
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  #16  
Old 26-09-2011, 07:06 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 1,908
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

In article ,
Stewart Robert Hinsley wrote:
In message
,
harry writes

Cyanide is also called bitter almond pison, guess why?
Many plants and seeds have poisonous parts to discourage eating.
Apple and pear seeds also contain cyanide.
Virtually every flower you grow in the garden is deadly.


The way I put it is that "to a first approximation 100% of plants are
poisonous". But deadly would be an exaggeration.


Actually, it's an exaggeration, too. In the topics, it probably
is true, but it most definitely isn't in the UK.

In the UK, a HUGE number of plants have nothing more lethal than
tannins, to which mammals are essentially immune. In particular,
that applies to almost every grass and relative, almost everything
with serious thorns and many others. Yes, in an absolute sense,
almost all are poisonous - but so are almost all food plants!

Of, course, almost all of those are inedible and would give people
indigestion, but that's not the same.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
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  #17  
Old 26-09-2011, 07:27 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 38
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

Thank you everyone for your inputs. I think I may err on the side of caution. We have seen
enough of hospitals for the past 3 years!


On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 06:02:23 -0700 (PDT), Dave Hill wrote:

On Sep 26, 11:13*am, Stewart Robert Hinsley
wrote:
In message
,
harry writes

On Sep 25, 4:07*pm, Kath wrote:
Ihave just read on the Plants for a Future site that sloes contain
hydrogen cyanide
(particularly the seeds).


We have made sloe liqueur for several years now but this year we
decided to try one bottle
where we put the sloes into a blender, instead of pricking them.


Will the resultant liqueur be poisonous?


Cyanide is also called bitter almond pison, guess why?
Many plants and seeds have poisonous parts to discourage eating.
Apple and pear seeds also contain cyanide.
Virtually every flower you grow in the garden is deadly.


The way I put it is that "to a first approximation 100% of plants are
poisonous". But deadly would be an exaggeration.

Haulms of potatoes, tomatoes and rhubarb are also deadly. (Oxalic
acid)


Potatoes and tomatoes have solanine and other alkaloids.



We have all developed some resistance to these poisons. It's all part
of nature's continuing chemical warfare.
You have chemical receptors that detect most poisons. Called taste.


Let us know if you die.


--
Stewart Robert Hinsley


I suspect you would smell it if it was strong enough to do you any
harm.
You can try it and either You or your Next of Kin could let us know
what happens.

  #18  
Old 26-09-2011, 08:12 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 545
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 20:43:09 +0100, Chris Hogg wrote:

On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:26:22 +0100, Kath
wrote:

On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 17:51:22 +0100, Janet wrote:

In article ,
says...

Ihave just read on the Plants for a Future site that sloes contain hydrogen cyanide
(particularly the seeds).

So do plum, cherry, peach and almond kernels and apple pips

We have made sloe liqueur for several years now but this year we decided to try one bottle
where we put the sloes into a blender, instead of pricking them.

Will the resultant liqueur be poisonous?

No more deadly than cider, plum and peach brandy, amaretto and jam.

Janet.

Even if the seeds are damaged? I know that the above fruits have the same in their stones
but they are very hard and don't get damaged.


I would be very cautious. I have it in my mind that about a cup-full
of say peach or apricot kernels contain enough cyanide (actually
amygdalin, a compound containing cyanide) to be fatal. If your sloe
stones were broken open and the kernels exposed and chopped up, then
the cyanide they contain will be leached out into the gin (amygdalin
is extracted from ground almond or apricot kernels using ethanol).
Whether there would be enough to kill you in a single tot, I've no
idea, but it would be tragic if you found out the hard way.


If all the stones of a pound of sloes per bottle of spirit have been
smashed in the blender (damn fine blender you must have there, ma'am),
I imagine the resultant beverage will be undrinkable anyway.

--
Mike.
  #19  
Old 27-09-2011, 06:12 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
NT
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Posts: 130
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

On Sep 25, 8:43*pm, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:26:22 +0100, Kath
wrote:



On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 17:51:22 +0100, Janet wrote:


In article ,
says...


Ihave just read on the Plants for a Future site that sloes contain hydrogen cyanide
(particularly the seeds).


*So do plum, cherry, peach and almond kernels and apple pips


We have made sloe liqueur for several years now but this year we decided to try one bottle
where we put the sloes into a blender, instead of pricking them.


Will the resultant liqueur be poisonous?


* No more deadly than cider, plum and peach brandy, amaretto and jam..


* Janet.


Even if the seeds are damaged? I know that the above fruits have the same in their stones
but they are very hard and don't get damaged.


I would be very cautious. I have it in my mind that about a cup-full
of say peach or apricot kernels contain enough cyanide (actually
amygdalin, a compound containing cyanide) to be fatal. If your sloe
stones were broken open and the kernels exposed and chopped up, then
the cyanide they contain will be leached out into the gin (amygdalin
is extracted from ground almond or apricot kernels using ethanol).
Whether there would be enough to kill you in a single tot, I've no
idea, but it would be tragic if you found out the hard way.


There are people that eat kernels for medicinal purposes. They survive
just fine


NT
  #20  
Old 27-09-2011, 06:46 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 545
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 22:12:04 -0700 (PDT), NT
wrote:

On Sep 25, 8:43*pm, Chris Hogg wrote:

[...]

I would be very cautious. I have it in my mind that about a cup-full
of say peach or apricot kernels contain enough cyanide (actually
amygdalin, a compound containing cyanide) to be fatal. If your sloe
stones were broken open and the kernels exposed and chopped up, then
the cyanide they contain will be leached out into the gin (amygdalin
is extracted from ground almond or apricot kernels using ethanol).
Whether there would be enough to kill you in a single tot, I've no
idea, but it would be tragic if you found out the hard way.


There are people that eat kernels for medicinal purposes. They survive
just fine

As Chris says, in small quantities. Whether, on the other hand, they
survive the illness for which the kernels were suggested is another
matter.

I'm sure you mean no harm; but when in doubt, I'd seek real medical
advice, not the opinions of anonymous strangers on the Internet.

--
Mike.
  #21  
Old 27-09-2011, 08:22 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 1,079
Default Deadly Sloes? Help! - to prick or not to prick?

On 25/09/2011 19:37, Neil Bush wrote:
Sorry to hijack your thread Kath, but you reminded me....

When making sloe/damson gin, who pricks the fruit?
I tried it, but found the only difference it made was it made the liquid
cloudy.
N

Pricking is way too much like hard work. Deep freeze them instead.
(and adjust the amount of sugar downwards for a much better aperitif)

They are only worth taking after the first frost. Round here the birds
tend to grab them at about the same time so you have to be quick.

I would not be keen to put the sloes in a blender because it risks
exposing the toxic kernel, but unless you mashed them to a pulp it would
probably only be the very first glass out of the bottle that might on a
bad day might contain more than its fair share of cyanide.

Dose makes the poison so try a very small amount first. You could be out
of luck - I would certainly proceed with caution.

Oleander stems are way more dangerous and kill a few unlucky people on
holiday overseas every year who are tempted to use them as BBQ skewers.
Locals know better.

Regards,
Martin Brown

  #22  
Old 02-10-2011, 04:57 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 38
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 20:12:03 +0100, Mike Lyle wrote:

In article ,
says...

Ihave just read on the Plants for a Future site that sloes contain hydrogen cyanide
(particularly the seeds).

So do plum, cherry, peach and almond kernels and apple pips

We have made sloe liqueur for several years now but this year we decided to try one bottle
where we put the sloes into a blender, instead of pricking them.

Will the resultant liqueur be poisonous?

No more deadly than cider, plum and peach brandy, amaretto and jam.

Janet.

Even if the seeds are damaged? I know that the above fruits have the same in their stones
but they are very hard and don't get damaged.


I would be very cautious. I have it in my mind that about a cup-full
of say peach or apricot kernels contain enough cyanide (actually
amygdalin, a compound containing cyanide) to be fatal. If your sloe
stones were broken open and the kernels exposed and chopped up, then
the cyanide they contain will be leached out into the gin (amygdalin
is extracted from ground almond or apricot kernels using ethanol).
Whether there would be enough to kill you in a single tot, I've no
idea, but it would be tragic if you found out the hard way.


If all the stones of a pound of sloes per bottle of spirit have been
smashed in the blender (damn fine blender you must have there, ma'am),
I imagine the resultant beverage will be undrinkable anyway.


It isn't. It barely touched them but I thought that even if only the outer bit (kernel?)
was damaged, then the alcohol could leach out the toxin. Like puncturing a balloon.
  #23  
Old 02-10-2011, 05:09 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Posts: 38
Default Deadly Sloes? Help! - to prick or not to prick?

On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 00:02:32 +0200, David in Normandy
wrote:

On 25/09/2011 23:02, someone wrote:
"Neil wrote in message
o.uk...
Sorry to hijack your thread Kath, but you reminded me....

When making sloe/damson gin, who pricks the fruit?
I tried it, but found the only difference it made was it
made the liquid cloudy.
N


I always prick the fruit and have no problem with
cloudiness. I followed one stupid recipe that said to put
them in the freezer first, and then allow them to thaw and
add the gin& sugar. What a disaster. So cloudy I wouldn't
offer it to anyone (so I'll have to drink it all meself
then, he, he). Seriously, pricking works well for me, I get
a nice clear drink.



Strange that. I always use the freezer method and mine is never cloudy.
I wonder what we do different? Mine is always a lovely clear red colour.


I usually prick them and they are cloudy at first but clear after a few weeks (not
including the use of blenders)
  #24  
Old 02-10-2011, 09:43 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
Registered User
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2005
Posts: 545
Default Deadly Sloes? Help!

On Sun, 02 Oct 2011 16:57:56 +0100, Kath
wrote:

On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 20:12:03 +0100, Mike Lyle wrote:

In article ,
says...

Ihave just read on the Plants for a Future site that sloes contain hydrogen cyanide
(particularly the seeds).

So do plum, cherry, peach and almond kernels and apple pips

We have made sloe liqueur for several years now but this year we decided to try one bottle
where we put the sloes into a blender, instead of pricking them.

Will the resultant liqueur be poisonous?

No more deadly than cider, plum and peach brandy, amaretto and jam.

Janet.

Even if the seeds are damaged? I know that the above fruits have the same in their stones
but they are very hard and don't get damaged.

I would be very cautious. I have it in my mind that about a cup-full
of say peach or apricot kernels contain enough cyanide (actually
amygdalin, a compound containing cyanide) to be fatal. If your sloe
stones were broken open and the kernels exposed and chopped up, then
the cyanide they contain will be leached out into the gin (amygdalin
is extracted from ground almond or apricot kernels using ethanol).
Whether there would be enough to kill you in a single tot, I've no
idea, but it would be tragic if you found out the hard way.


If all the stones of a pound of sloes per bottle of spirit have been
smashed in the blender (damn fine blender you must have there, ma'am),
I imagine the resultant beverage will be undrinkable anyway.


It isn't. It barely touched them but I thought that even if only the outer bit (kernel?)
was damaged, then the alcohol could leach out the toxin. Like puncturing a balloon.


It's the inside bit that's the kernel: the hard outer layer is just
the shell. But if the stones aren't appreciably damaged, I don't think
I'd worry. To put your mind at rest, maybe strain this one bottle
after only a couple of weeks instead of giving it the full process,
and mix it in with the others when bottling-time comes round? (I
suspect that amygdalin is water-soluble, but since gin is usually
about 60% water, it doesn't matter whether it's water- or
alcohol-soluble!)

--
Mike.
  #25  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:05 AM
kay kay is offline
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Posts: 1,792
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post

It isn't. It barely touched them but I thought that even if only the outer bit (kernel?)
.
The kernel is the soft bit inside the hard shell
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