Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Kissed a Kiwi

I was cruising my local Whole Foods on Thursday night after a very yum and safe dinner at Gotham Bar & Grill [we split a steak, and they made me special sides to split, spinach and mushrooms, all delish and safe] and espied organic kiwifruits from Italy. They are on sale, three for $1, so I bought one for .33.

Back at home I did some homework on the plant species of the brown fuzzy oblong shaped fruit.

According to WikiPedia:Raw kiwifruit is also rich in the protein-dissolving enzyme actinidin, (in the same family of thiol proteases as papain), which is commercially useful as a meat tenderizer but can be an allergen for some individuals. Specifically, people allergic to latex, papayas or pineapples are likely to be allergic to kiwifruit also. Reactions include sweating, tingling and sore mouth; swelling of the lips, tongue and face; rash; vomiting and abdominal pain; and, in the most severe cases, breathing difficulties, wheezing and collapse. The most common symptoms are unpleasant itching and soreness of the mouth, with the most common severe symptom being wheezing. Severe symptoms are most likely to occur in young children.

And here is what the California Kiwifruit Commission had to say about kiwi allergies.

Since I’ve never had papayas and I know pineapple makes my lips tingle, sometimes, I gave a small pause. Small because as a child I ate kiwi all the time. So I proceeded cautiously knowing that I would probably be fine. I had a small spoonful of the green flesh and the black seeds: watery, slightly sweet, tart and green tasting.

And then I waiting about 2 hours.

And nada. No reaction of any kind. So then had a bit more. And still nothing, except yum.

So in my efforts to try some new/old things, I can cross kiwifruit off the list of potentially harmful fruits and put it back on my list of things to eat every now and then, especially when they are on sale!

6 comments:

Jennifer B said...

That's great! It's nice to add something back onto the safe list.

My first encounter (it was a good one) with kiwis was in a fruit torte form Pastiche in Providence, RI, many years ago. As a child, kiwis looked a bit strange to me, but I still remember that torte!

Bo said...

I don't want to rain on your success but I just want to warn you. As someone who is allergic to laxtex, pineapple, papaya, and kiwi...not to mention a bunch of other things...the allergic reaction can come and go. Sometimes I have pineapple and kiwi and I'm fine. Other times - oh boy! Mouth itch and swollen lips! I look like the love child of mick jagger and the lead singer of aerosmith.

Proceed with caution.

Allergic Girl said...

hey bo, yeah i hear ya.

this kiwi was fine the next could be a blamo.

gotta start somewhere though.

nice to hear from you!

zia said...

Congrats on adding another "yes" to the ok list. That's always so fun!

I loved kiwi as a child, but eating one now paralyzes my whole body for 5 hours, so I'll never get to eat it again. (it's a neuro thing.)

Please enjoy one for me! :)

Vivian said...

I used to eat kiwis a lot in college--I had roommates that put them in everything. But one day, all of the sudden my lips got itchy, started swelling and my throat felt funny. I was silly enough to try eating a kiwi again, because they are really good.

Never again.

Good job doing homework first before trying it out.

ldawoj said...

Often times you're not actually allergic to Kiwifruit! The fruit contains protease, an enzyme that breaks down proteins. If you eat too much you will eventually start breaking down your own mouth! IT heals in a day or two.