The tempting red color of strawberries may be the culprit for the allergic reaction some people suffer when eating the popular summer fruit, Swedish researchers say.
"The allergen is in some way or other related to the red color, but it is not clear exactly how. We need to investigate more proteins," Rikard Alm of Lund University said.
Alm was quoted in the magazine Chemistry World, the publication of Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry.
People who suffer an allergic reaction to red strawberries - itching and swelling in the mouth and throat - are often able to eat white strawberries.
A particular protein is being held responsible. It resembles a known allergen in birch pollen.
"We are now investigating the biological variation of the strawberry allergen, between different strawberry varieties, and within one and the same variety depending on cultivation conditions," Alm said.
The overwhelming majority of allergies are caused by milk, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, soya and wheat. Groundnut allergies are regarded as the most serious.
Medindia on Strawberry allergy: Further Information
Strawberry allergy: An allergic reaction to strawberries often causes itchiness and swollen areas around the mouth and the throat. For those who suffer from this form of food allergy, only white strawberries do not seem to generate any allergic reactions in people vulnerable to such allergic reactions.
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