Cyanogenic Glycosides

These are secondary metabolites which upon hydrolysis produce HCN. They are synthesized in plants from aromatic amino acids such as phenylalanine, tyrosine, and branched amino acids, i.e., leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Flaxseed contains several cyanogenic glycosides, i.e., linamarin, linustatin, and neolinustalin (Shahidi and Wanasundara, 1997). Other sources of cyanogenic glycosides are seeds of bitter almond and apricot, as well as those of peach and cherry. Cassava, lima bean, and bamboo may also contain cyanogens. Cyanogens in flaxseed meal have been shown to provide protection against selenium toxicity (Palmer, 1995).

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