Based on a gastrointestinal digestion model combined with a human intestinal cell culture, prunasin has been shown to be degraded into mandelonitrile by [beta]-glucosidase in the small intestine.
Prunasin, remaining in the gastrointestinal tract, can further be degraded into mandelonitrile by [beta]-glucosidase.
In Prunus, enzymes associated with this activity include amygdalin hydrolase, prunasin hydrolase, and mandelonitrile
lyase (Swain et al., 1992).
Amygdalin consists of two sugar (glucose) molecules bound to a benzaldehyde, which in turn is bound to a cyanide radical (the benzaldehyde-cyanide radical is called mandelonitrile).
In the body, the two sugar molecules are split off by the enzyme beta glucosidase (probably by bacteria in the colon) and are replaced by a glucuronic acid molecule to form a compound consisting of glucuronic acid bound to mandelonitrile (the benzaldehyde-cyanide radical).
Table 1: Popular Essential Oils in Soap and Cosmetic Formulations Common Name Vanilla Almond Sandalwood Oil Cinnamon Oil Lemon Oil Peppermint Oil Lavender Oil Rose Oil Botanical Source Vanilla planifolia Prunus dulcis Santalum album Cinnamomum zeylanicum Citrus sinensis Mentha piperita Lavandula angustifolia Rosa hybrida Key Chemical Constituents Vanillin, Ethyl vanillin Benzaldehyde, mandelonitrile
[alpha]- and ([beta]-Santalol, lanceal Cinnamaldehyde d-Limonene, Geraniol, Citral I-Menthol Linalool Citral, [beta]-phenyl ethanol, other