What do you call the soft part inside a fruit's stone/pit? For instance, when you break an apricot's stone/pit you can see a soft and tasty piece that's edible.

I would also like to know which word is more common a stone or a pit of a fruit.

  • There seems to be a fair amount of literature on the subject, many sites promote its goodness and claim it defeats cancer.... this page seemed to me the most level headed. I would limit the intake, apart from possible death (hard to ignore), the side-effects of consuming amygdalin are pretty nasty drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/cancer/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


That is the kernel. I'm not sure about "edible" (since it contains amygadalin, that produces cyanide). It could also called the seed, which would be the proper biological term, although there may be some confusion (Non-biologists might consider the whole pit to be a seed. The technical terminology doesn't quite match everyday speech)

Stone and pit are both possible. Stone is more frequent in British English, pit may be more common in American. Pip can be used for smaller seeds, such as in apples or oranges.

  • 1
    I eat them. I hope I won't die. Aug 7, 2017 at 8:09
  • 4
    Death seems to be unlikely, if you are treated promptly. Convulsions and coma, on the other hand...ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20196932
    – 1006a
    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:21
  • 1
    @SovereignSun You really shouldn't. Aug 7, 2017 at 9:12
  • I also tried kernels of other fruit Aug 7, 2017 at 13:41
  • @1006a in that article about cyanide poisoning linked in above comment, they refer to it as a seed, is that contradicting kernel or does it mean something else?
    – dlatikay
    Aug 7, 2017 at 13:50

As shown by this paragraph, an acceptable word for the soft inside part would be kernel. stone and pit would both refer to the outer shell with what's inside it.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned that a single serving of three small apricot kernels or one large apricot kernel could put adults over the suggested safe levels of cyanide exposure, while one small kernel could be toxic to a toddler. The EFSA advise that no more than 20 micrograms of cyanide per kilogram of body weight should be consumed at one time. This limits consumption to one kernel for adults. Even half a kernel would be over the limit for children.


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