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Some kiwifruit types ‘less allergy-inducing’

New York, December 6, 2010

With kiwifruit becoming ubiquitous in grocery stores worldwide, reports of allergic reactions have also increased. But some varieties may be less likely to trigger allergies than others, a study said.

In fact, in Sweden, France and Finland, kiwi has become one of the top 10 sources of food allergies, said Karin Hoffmann-Sommergruber at the Medical University of Vienna, who led the study reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

In tests of 37 adults with kiwi allergies, Hoffmann-Sommergruber and her colleagues found that certain varieties of the fruit -- including the "gold" variety -- tend to be less allergenic than the common deep-green variety known as Hayward.

Six varieties were assessed, including the most commonly available Hayward, with bright green flesh and medium-brown skin, and Summer 3373, a variety in the same kiwi "species" as Hayward but with light green flesh. Summer 3373 came to the market later but its availability is growing.

The other tested kiwifruits included "Hort 16A," marketed as "Zespri Gold" and the most widely available golden-fleshed variety, Jintao, a newer golden variety, and two varieties of a species called Eriantha which are expected to come to market in the next 10 to 20 years. The Eriantha varieties are smaller and lighter-skinned than the others and have deep green flesh.

In general, the Hayward kiwi triggered the most significant skin reactions, while the lighter-green Summer and gold Hort 16A led to the mildest reactions.

The concentration of the major allergy-triggering protein in kiwi is 50 times higher in green kiwifruit compared with golden kiwi, Hoffmann-Sommergruber said in an email to Reuters Health.

But she added that more research is needed with a larger group before specific kiwi varieties can be sorted out for safe tolerance by the allergy prone. – Reuters




Tags: New York | allergy | Kiwifruit | Kiwi |

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