Stone Fruit

Definition - What does Stone Fruit mean?

A stone fruit is a fruit that has a stone (pit) inside. The stone is the seed or the pit of the fruit. Fruits such as apricots, nectarines, cherries, plums, mangoes, and peaches are all examples of stone fruit.

Stone fruit is edible but you do not eat the stones. Not all stone fruits have large stones in the interior. Raspberries are considered to be stone fruit but they only contain tiny stones. The pits are referred to as stones because they have a hard, exterior covering.

MaximumYield explains Stone Fruit

Stone fruit are also called drupes. All stone fruits consist of a fruit that has a fleshy, edible flesh that surrounds a pit that has an exceptionally hard exterior. The fleshy rind of the fruit can be consumed, but the pit is usually not eaten unless the fruit is a raspberry.

Within the hard outer casing of the stone fruit's pit is the soft seed of the fruit. When planted, the hard exterior shell breaks open and the seedling emerges.

Many seeds of stone fruit are poisonous. The interior of some stone fruit seeds contain a compound known as amygdalin. When ingested, the amygdalin converts into hydrogen cyanide.

Hydrogen cyanide is extremely poisonous. However, hydrogen cyanide does not survive high temperatures so the seeds of cherries are often cooked and made into puddings or other sweet treats. The high heat of cooking the stone fruit pit breaks down the hydrogen cyanide and renders it safe.

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