Why does your mouth itch when eating kiwi?

What components of kiwi produce itchy tongue?

Is it normal for the kiwi to produce itchy tongue?

Yes, it is normal for the kiwi to itch a little on the tongue.

Why does kiwi cause this itching sensation?

Photo of kiwis

The spicy-like sensation that kiwi leaves in the mouth is due to a proteolytic enzyme (that digest proteins), called actidin.

It produces itching because it slightly degrades the proteins found in saliva and on the tongue, producing this sensation of itching.

In addition, its acid content, such as oxalic acid, can also contribute to this effect.

All the kiwis itch?

Not always, when you eat kiwi, it itches on the tongue. Sometimes a kiwi is ripe enough not to sting (contains less actidine).

Other times, if the kiwifruit is consumed after a high-fat meal, it may not irritate the tongue as much (due to the protective layer of fat on the tongue). On the other hand, if it is consumed after a meal rich in fruit, the spicy sensation may be more noticeable (due to the effect of the acids in the fruit).

Also, the cooked kiwi does not itch because the heat destroys all its actidin.

When is the kiwi itch dangerous?

In some cases, the itching in the throat or swelling of the tongue may indicate a type of allergic reaction called oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which can become a serious condition, depending on the case.

Some people tolerate ripe kiwifruit, but it feels bad when it is too immature. This is due to the fact that during ripening there are kiwi components that are transformed and do not produce allergy.

Symptoms of immature kiwi allergy (oral allergy)

The symptoms of kiwi allergy are:

  • The rapid onset of symptoms in the oral cavity such as itching, tingling, swelling or edema.
  • Digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, flatulence or cramps may also occur.

punto rojo More information on kiwi.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

24 January, 2021

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