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Ask the Allergist

Ask the Allergist

Can I Eat Sugar Apples If I'm Allergic to Apples?

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Is it safe for me to eat a sugar apple with an apple allergy?

The sugar apple is an edible fruit of the Annona tree. It is typically seen in the tropical climates of the West Indies, Central America, and the southern coast of Florida. It is sometimes called the sweet sop or custard apple. The scientific name is Annona squamosa. There is little to no information about an allergy to sugar apples.

People with apple allergies have an allergic immune reaction to certain proteins in apples. The scientific name for apple is Malus domestica. Some of these people can also react to other common fresh fruits and vegetables with similar proteins. This is called oral allergy syndrome. Patients who have an apple allergy are typically allergic to birch tree pollen. They can have allergic symptoms in their mouth and throat after eating fresh apples, peaches, pears, cherries, certain tree nuts (e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts), and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

As mentioned above, there is not a lot of information available about allergies to sugar apples. This includes adverse reactions after eating this fruit if you have an apple allergy. If you have eaten this fruit in the past without any symptoms, you can continue to eat it. If you have any allergy symptoms such as:

  • Itchiness in your mouth, tongue, roof of mouth, or throat
  • Swelling of your lips, tongue, or in the mouth
  • Tightening in your throat

you should stop eating this fruit.

I recommend seeing an allergy specialist. They'll perform a thorough evaluation with potential allergy testing and provide treatment recommendations. If needed, specific changes to your diet can be made.

Food Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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