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The Characteristics of Kiwi Fruit Allergy

Institutions
University of Southampton
Start date
2003
End date
2006
Objective
This project aims to fully characterise all of the clinical symptoms associated with allergy to kiwi fruit. This research will use a combination of questionnaires and biochemical techniques in order to assess the clinical symptoms associated with kiwi allergy.

Two dimensional-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) will provide a more complete picture of the allergens present and proteins, separated by 2D-PAGE, will be analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. The questionnaire, based on previous designs used to characterise peanut allergy, will consist predominantly of closed questions. They will provide clinical information about the different ways the allergy presents in different groups of subjects, and will complement the laboratory studies which will explain these differences.

More information
Allergy to kiwi fruit initially presented in the UK population in adults as a cross-reaction to latex or birch pollen. After some 20 years in the UK diet, allergy started to present in early childhood, often on the first known exposure. The paediatric at-risk group is highly atopic and the symptoms of kiwi allergy can be severe. The differences between adults and children are thought to occur either because of the timing of exposure, or because they are reacting to different allergens.

Kiwi fruit has been a common component of the UK diet for only 20 years and therefore serves as a model for how allergy develops in a population when a new food is introduced.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
T07038
Commodities
Produce
Nuts, Seeds