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The Best Why Does Eating a Kiwi Fruit Burn Your Tongue? Reviewed

Last updated on March 5th, 2024 at 06:58 pm

If you’ve ever bitten into a kiwi fruit and experienced an unexpected burn on your tongue, you’re not alone. The tingling sensation may be so severe that it takes your breath away or even makes your eyes water, but why does eating a kiwi fruit burn your tongue? There are several reasons why this happens, but in general, the culprit is the sharp little hairs known as the papillae on the surface of your tongue.

I have a stomach ulcer if: I would avoid eating this type of fruit if I am suffering from a stomach ulcer as one of its side effects could be stomach ulcers or inflammation of the stomach lining.

Why Does Eating a Kiwi Fruit Burn Your Tongue

In this section, you will find:

What Are Kiwi Fruits?

Kiwi fruits are small oval shaped green fruits that are related to the eggplant, chile pepper, and gooseberry. Kiwis grow on a short vine with hairy leaves and small flowers. They have a rough brown skin that can be peeled off easily and some people describe the flesh as tasting like a combination of apples, strawberries, bananas, and pineapple. However for some people, eating kiwi fruit can burn their tongue because it is so acidic.

Why Does Kiwi Fruit Burn Your Tongue?

Eating a kiwi fruit can often lead to a burning sensation in your tongue. Kiwi fruit contains an enzyme, actinidin, that has been shown to increase the production of saliva. One theory behind this is that, when you eat kiwi and produce extra saliva, it dilutes the concentration of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Another theory suggests that the actinidin protein inside the fruit can irritate your mouth’s taste buds and nerves.

Kiwi Fruit Burn Your Tongue

The science behind the burning sensation

It’s not the kiwi itself that burns your tongue, but the enzymes inside it that get activated by your saliva. The enzyme acts on a sugar in the fruit called actinidin and produces a chemical called Acteine. Acteine causes a burning sensation because it interacts with sensory receptors in your mouth, which are used to detect heat and pain. Kiwis contain an amino acid called arginine, which is also responsible for causing the burn. Arginine is produced when an enzyme in the kiwi known as actinidin breaks down protein-containing molecules. When you eat or drink foods containing arginine, they can cause a reaction from your immune system where immune cells produce chemicals such as histamine that help regulate body temperature and promote healing.

Kiwi allergy in children

A lot of children are allergic to kiwi fruit, which causes their tongue to burn if they eat it. Kiwi allergy is caused by a protein called Ara h 2 that is found in the fruit’s skin and leaves. This protein can cause an allergic reaction for some people, but not all. If you are one of the few who does have a kiwi allergy, avoid eating it at all costs because the reaction can be very severe and can lead to throat swelling or anaphylactic shock.

Kiwi allergy in children

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Eating a kiwi fruit can cause a burning sensation on your tongue for about 20 minutes. This is due to the presence of something called actinidin. Actinidin is found in all kiwi fruits and acts as an enzyme that helps break down protein. When we eat protein-rich foods like meat or eggs, our bodies don’t need actinidin to help with digestion because they already have proteases that are capable of breaking down those proteins. Kiwis lack these enzymes so actinidin breaks down the protein for us and it turns out that this process can be quite painful for some people! The pain usually subsides after 20 minutes but if you experience any severe pain, try eating other types of food before going back to eating kiwis.

Causes of kiwi allergy

Kiwi allergy is one of the most common types of fruit allergies. The allergy is caused by an antibody called IgE, which reacts to proteins in the kiwi fruit. When you eat a kiwi, your body’s immune system recognizes these proteins as dangerous invaders and produces antibodies that try to fight them off. The antibodies release chemicals called histamines, which make your tongue feel like it’s burning and tingling.

You may be allergic to kiwis if you experience itching or swelling in your mouth after eating them, sneezing or runny nose after exposure, or hives on the skin for more than two hours after contact with them. An allergy test can confirm the diagnosis and show what other fruits might cause a similar reaction.

Causes of kiwi allergy

The pH Scale and What it Means

When you bite into a kiwi fruit, the juice gets on your tongue and it burns. This is because of the pH scale. What’s the pH scale? It is a measure of how acidic or basic something is. The scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 0 being extremely acidic and 14 being extremely alkaline (basic). The kiwi has a low pH level of 3.2 which gives it that sour taste, but also means it will burn your mouth if you eat it without rinsing your mouth out first!

Identifying triggers and avoiding them

There are some ways to avoid the Burn Your Tongue:

  • Put kiwis in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before eating them to reduce the Actinidin activity
  • Peel the skin off of the kiwi before eating it because most of the fruit contains this enzyme which is located just under the skin. It doesn’t remove all of the risks because there may be enzymes on parts that weren’t peeled. But it does significantly lower the risk of experiencing Kiwi Burn Your Tongue.
  • Another way to avoid discomfort when eating a Kiwi fruit is by simply cutting it up into smaller pieces. The taste will still be intact but less exposure to the enzyme will result in less discomfort from using Actinidin as well.
  • If none of these methods work and you continue to experience pain, you can use cheese or meat in between bites to help lessen the effects of Kiwi Burn Your Tongue.

How To Treat Burning Tongue?

If you’ve ever bitten into a kiwi fruit and felt your tongue burning, don’t worry. Your tongue is not actually burning, it just has an extremely sensitive taste bud to the acid in the kiwi fruit. There are two ways to treat this burning sensation; either by adding sugar or dairy to neutralize the acidity of the kiwi or by using a straw when eating the fruit.

What Alternatives Can You Try?

If you can’t stop your tongue from burning after eating a kiwi fruit, there are some alternatives you can try.

  • You can eat it with another food or drink that has sugar in it like yogurt or milk. Sugar and acid cancel each other out so the sugar will help counteract the acidic taste of the kiwi.
  • You could try adding citrus to your kiwi by cutting it up and adding lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice or pineapple juice to your dish to decrease the severity of the sourness. This is because citrus fruits are sour too but they have more water which helps neutralize acidic tastes in other foods.

When to see a doctor?

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is time to see the doctor. These include skin irritation, swelling, or numbness in your mouth; sores in the mouth or on your body that are not healing; difficulty swallowing; and unexplained weight loss.


Kiwi fruits are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, but they are also known for their unusual taste. When you eat a kiwi fruit, it will often burn your tongue due to the lack of sugar in the fruit. Kiwi fruits have a low sugar content because they cannot be grown in most climates. The intense tartness from eating a kiwi is because it has more citric acid than any other food you can buy at the grocery store.

Eating a kiwi will typically result in a burning sensation on the tongue due to their acidic content of citric acid and oxalic acid. A person may also experience tingling sensations on the lips or cheeks if they eat too many kiwis or other acidic foods such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits or tomatoes.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Is there a chemical reaction in kiwis that causes an itchy throat and tongue?

The kiwi fruit contains an enzyme called Actinidain that is known for its powerful proteolytic activity, which means it can break down protein. The kiwis are grown in a climate of high humidity and the Actinidain can’t be inhibited by refrigeration because it’s an active enzyme. Some people are sensitive to the chemical reaction that occurs in the mouth when they bite into a kiwi, leading to an itchy throat and tongue.

2. Is Kiwi Allergic? What Are the Signs?

A Kiwi allergy is rare but it can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth, throat and chest. One sign of an allergy to Kiwi is hives on the skin. Hives are red, raised welts on the surface of the skin that are often accompanied by itching or swelling. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating Kiwi, see your doctor for testing.

3. After eating kiwi, why does my tongue feel weird?

Eating a kiwi fruit will result in an initial burning sensation on your tongue, which is caused by the high acidity of the fruit.

4. Is kiwi allergy common?

Having a kiwi allergy is very uncommon, but it does happen. A person with an allergy to kiwis will experience an allergic reaction when they come into contact with the fruit or its juices.

5. Can I drink water after eating Kiwi food?

No, drinking water after eating Kiwi food could cause you to choke on the water. This is because the Kiwi fruit has enzymes that can interact with saliva in your mouth and create a burning sensation.

6. Can vitamin D deficiency cause burning tongue?

It is possible that vitamin D deficiency could cause burning tongue, but it is most likely due to the high acid content of kiwi fruit. This sensation only lasts for a few moments after eating the fruit and it goes away.

7. Are Kiwis good for you?

Kiwis are good for you! Kiwis are high in dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and lowers cholesterol. They also contain potassium to regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

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