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Scientific Name:
Malus domestica
Apple is consumed as fresh and processed fruit as well as in juices, jams, jellies, and cider. Apple pectin is used as a gelling agent.

Allergy Information:

Like many other allergies to fresh fruits and vegetables, apple allergy can take two different forms. In the North of Europe, people with birch-pollen allergy can develop an apple allergy due to the similarity between a protein in birch that causes birch-pollen allergy, and an apple protein. This is called the birch-apple syndrome with symptoms generally appearing within 5-15 min after consuming raw apple and comprising local reactions in the mouth and throat with itching and inflammation (called oral allergy syndrome, OAS). The molecule, known as an allergen, involved in this kind of allergy does not survive cooking and pasteurisation. Therefore, people who react to this allergen can tolerate cooked apple and juices. Individuals often develop adverse reactions to other fruits including pear, apricot, melon, banana, nuts such as hazelnut, or vegetables such as celeriac (celery tuber) and carrot.

In Mediterranean countries, people with apple allergy do not have birch-pollen allergy. Instead they often have allergy to peach. These individuals develop adverse reactions to apple because of the similarity between the allergens in peach and apple. Symptoms are more severe including generalised urticaria, abdominal pain, vomiting and life-threatening symptoms, sometimes in addition to the OAS. These individuals tend to have more frequent and severe reactions when fruits are eaten with the peel. They also tend to develop adverse reactions to other fruits including peach, apricot, plum, cherry, nuts (such as hazelnut and walnut) and peanut. The protein (allergen) that causes this kind of allergy is tough and the allergenicity survives in processed foods such as purees, nectars and juices. As a result, individuals with this kind of allergy cannot eat even processed apple.

The amount of allergen in the fruit is influenced by the apple variety, the degree of maturity and storage conditions. Whereas over-mature and freshly harvested fruits have highest levels of the peach related allergen, long storage increases the levels of pollen-related allergen. No hypoallergenic fruits have been produced by breeding so far. 

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This record was last modified on 18-Oct-2006
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