Detection of Abnormally High Amygdalin Content in Food by an Enzyme Immunoassay

  • Cho, A-Yeon (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine) ;
  • Yi, Kye Sook (Transplantation Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine) ;
  • Rhim, Jung-Hyo (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Kyu-Il (Department of Chemisty, Chonbuk National University) ;
  • Park, Jae-Young (Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Keum, Eun-Hee (Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Chung, Junho (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine) ;
  • Oh, Sangsuk (Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Womans University)
  • Received : 2005.12.15
  • Accepted : 2006.03.07
  • Published : 2006.04.30


Amygdalin is a cyanogenic glycoside compound which is commonly found in the pits of many fruits and raw nuts. Although amygdalin itself is not toxic, it can release cyanide (CN) after hydrolysis when the pits and nuts are crushed, moistened and incubated, possibly within the gastrointestinal tract. CN reversibly inhibits cellular oxidizing enzymes and cyanide poisoning generates a range of clinical symptoms. As some pits and nuts may contain unusually high levels of amygdalin such that there is a sufficient amount to induce critical CN poisoning in humans, the detection of abnormal content of amygdalin in those pits and nuts can be a life-saving measure. Although there are various methods to detect amygdalin in food extracts, an enzyme immunoassay has not been developed for this purpose. In this study we immunized New Zealand White rabbits with an amygdalin-KLH (keyhole limpet hemocyanin) conjugate and succeeded in raising anti-sera reactive to amygdalin, proving that amygdalin can behave as a hapten in rabbits. Using this polyclonal antibody, we developed a competition enzyme immunoassay for determination of amygdalin concentration in aqueous solutions. This technique was able to effectively detect abnormally high amygdalin content in various seeds and nuts. In conclusion, we proved that enzyme immunoassay can be used to determine the amount of amygdalin in food extracts, which will allow automated analysis with high throughput.


Amygdalin;Antibodies;Cyanogenic Gycosides;Enzyme Immunoassay;Immunization


Supported by : Agricultral Research Promotion Center


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