Monday, December 20, 2010

Armenian Apricot

In commemoration of the first "Armenian Apricot" international scientific forum‚ the national postal operator of the Republic of Armenia, HayPost CJSC, has officially issued a postal stamp entitled Armenian Apricot.


The apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.

The apricot was known in Armenia during ancient times, and has been cultivated there for so long it is often thought to be native there. Its scientific name Prunus armeniaca (Armenian plum) derives from that assumption.

The fruit is a drupe similar to a small peach, 1.5–2.5 cm diameter (larger in some modern cultivars), from yellow to orange, often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun; its surface is usually pubescent. The single seed is enclosed in a hard stony-shell, often called a "stone", with a grainy, smooth texture except for three ridges running down one side.

Turkey (Malatya region) is the leading apricot producer followed by Iran. In Armenia, apricots are grown in Ararat Valley.

Cyanogenic glycosides (found in most stone fruit seeds, bark, and leaves) are found in high concentration in apricot seeds.Research shows that of any food, apricots possess the highest levels and widest variety of carotenoids .Carotenoids are antioxidants that help prevent heart disease,reduce "bad cholesterol" levels and protect against cancer.

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