Pine nuts associated with a bitter aftertaste
Thursday 16 July 2009
The Agency has received several reports over the last few months of pine nuts that have caused a bitter taste for some people who have eaten them.
This is not a food safety issue, but the Agency is trying to get more information about why this is happening.
The Agency has been in contact with the Poisons Centre in Belgium, which has researched this phenomenon. They investigated this issue in 2001 but have been unable to find a cause for the bitter taste that some people have experienced. Batches shown to cause the unusual taste and batches giving no effects were compared and no chemical differences could be found to which the bitter taste could definitely be attributed.
The bitter taste usually disappears after a few days but has been reported to last for as long as two weeks. As far as the Agency is aware, no adverse health effects have been associated with these symptoms.
The Agency will continue to monitor these reports. However, the current lack of information on why and how this effect occurs is limiting the scope for further investigation.
If you wish to contact us on this issue or have experienced this effect and would like your case recorded, please send details of the pine nuts you consumed and the length of time you experienced the bitter taste for to email@example.com.