Health & Wellness

Why does Kiwi Hurt my Mouth (Tongue)

Have you ever enjoyed the sweet, tangy flavor of a kiwi, only to ask, “Why does kiwi hurt my mouth?” This is a question that has confused many fruit lovers throughout the world. Kiwi, with its brilliant green flesh and distinct flavor, is popular with many people, but the associated discomfort can be uncomfortable.

The following article tries to solve the mystery surrounding this interesting question why does kiwi hurt my mouth. We’ll look at the science behind how kiwi interacts with our mouths, and why this wonderful fruit can produce tingling or itching.

In This Article

  1. Why does Kiwi hurt my Mouth
  2. Why does Kiwi make my Tongue feel Weird
  3. Why does my Tongue tingle when i eat Kiwi

Why does Kiwi hurt my Mouth

Why does Kiwi Hurt my Mouth (Tongue)

One of the primary reasons kiwi might cause discomfort in your mouth is due to a condition known as Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS).

Eating kiwi can hurt your mouth due to the presence of actinidain, a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins and can irritate the delicate tissues in your mouth.

Additionally, kiwis are high in acidity, which can exacerbate this irritation, especially if you have any small cuts or sensitive areas in your mouth.

Some people may also have a mild allergic reaction to kiwi, leading to symptoms such as itching, swelling, and a burning sensation. These combined factors can make consuming kiwi an uncomfortable experience for some individuals.

The Role of Enzymes

Another reason why kiwi might cause discomfort in your mouth is due to the enzymes present in the fruit. These enzymes can cause a tingling sensation in the mouth and lips, even in individuals who have tested negative for allergies to these fruits.

The spicy-like sensation in the mouth after eating kiwi is due to a proteolytic enzyme called actidin, which slightly degrades the proteins found in saliva and on the tongue, producing the itching sensation.

Cross-Reactivity and Allergies

Kiwi allergies can cause mild symptoms at first, such as an itchy, tingly mouth, but can also lead to more severe symptoms over time, including stomach pains, rash, or trouble breathing.

Kiwi allergies can be related to cross-reactivity with other foods, such as apples, peaches, cherries, hazelnuts, peanuts, and carrots, as well as latex.

Why does Kiwi make my Tongue feel Weird?

The peculiar sensation you experience on your tongue after eating a kiwi is likely due to one of two factors. The first is Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), a condition where certain fresh fruits or vegetables can trigger an allergic reaction, causing your mouth and throat to feel itchy or tingly.

Kiwi is a common trigger for OAS. The second factor is the presence of a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin in kiwi.

This enzyme can slightly break down the proteins in your saliva and on your tongue, leading to a tingling or itching sensation.

Why does my Tongue tingle when i eat Kiwi

The tingling sensation you experience when eating kiwi is often due to the presence of proteolytic enzymes, such as actinidin, which can break down proteins in your mouth, including those on your tongue.

Additionally, kiwi contains a high amount of vitamin C and other acidic compounds that can cause mild irritation to the sensitive tissues in your mouth.

Some people may also have a mild allergic reaction to kiwi, which can result in tingling or a slightly itchy feeling.


In conclusion, the burning sensation some people feel when eating kiwi is mostly caused by actinidin, an enzyme that can induce tingling, irritation, or even minor allergic reactions in the mouth. Furthermore, the acidity of the fruit may worsen these effects.

Individuals who are known to be sensitive to actinidin or other kiwi allergens should proceed with caution and consult a healthcare practitioner if symptoms persist.

For individuals who still want to eat kiwi, peeling the fruit and consuming it in moderation may help reduce discomfort.

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Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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