A European study that found a small percentage of adults who consume kiwifruit experience allergic reactions came as something of a surprise to the staff at the California Kiwifruit Commission.
The study appeared in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
“It was interesting reading, but I haven’t heard a thing from the retail sector or the growers regarding allergies and kiwifruit,” said Nick Matteis, the Sacramento-based commission’s assistant manager.
The study, conducted by Karin Hoffmann-Somergruber, associate professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, was compiled from research projects in Sweden, Finland and France and focused on whether some kiwifruit varieties were more likely than others to cause allergic reactions.
The study cited 37 adults who reported kiwifruit allergies and found that gold varieties tended to be less allergenic than the Hayward. The deep green variety is the dominant variety in North America, said Matteis, who noted the study sample was small.
The allergic reactions were mostly minor ranging from tingling, itchiness and inflammation in the mouth and throat to skin rash and intestinal discomfort. Just two of the study’s participants reported breathing problems, while two others reported no symptoms at all.
According to the study, those who have avoided kiwifruit because they experienced allergic symptoms may be able to resume eating the fruit by selecting other varieties. However, more comprehensive research is needed, the study found.