Elise apples suitable for most people with mild apple allergy

March 25, 2011

Apples of the variety Elise can be consumed safely by most people with a mild apple allergy. This is the outcome of Dutch research performed by Wageningen University and the University Medical Centre Groningen in the framework of the European ISAFRUIT project. In taste and storability Elise compliments Santana, previously the only apple variety marketed as low-allergenic, being suitable for most individuals with a mild apple allergy. The combination of Santana and Elise in a ‘supply chain’ of growers, traders and retailers could make low-allergenic apples available from October to June.

Two to four percent of NW-European citizens suffer from allergy. These allergies are caused by proteins in the apple that, while harmless in themselves, can lead to itchiness and irritation to the mouth, lips, tongue, throat, nose and eyes. People allergic to apple are often allergic to other types of fruit as well, thus limiting fruit intake and a well balanced diet.

In The Netherlands, Santana has been marketed since 2006 as suitable for most individuals with a mild apple . Santana apples are harvested, stored, transported and packaged in a controlled manner in order to ensure consumers trust their identity. Packaging includes an information leaflet giving test-instructions in the case of first consumption. Approximately 50%-75% of individuals with mild apple allergies can consume Santana without unpleasant allergic reactions.

Unfortunately Santana apples are only available from October until mid-January, as they are not suitable for long storage, and although the flavour of Santana is valued by most, people allergic to apple still have only one taste to choose from.

This choice can now be broadened with the variety Elise.. Elise is a sweet and firm apple that, according to the experts, has a full aroma. In addition, Elise apples keep well and as a result, Dutch grown apples of this variety are sold until June. Consequently, a good supply chain approach could ensure availability of low-allergenic apples from October to June.

This year, availability of Elise will still be limited, Elise being a relatively new variety grown on limited acreage.

Although the apples of Elise are easily recognisable by their full bright-red blush, for people allergic to apple, it is important to consume fruit only from controlled chains to prevent them consuming the wrong type.

It has not yet been clarified whether all apple-allergics who can consume Santana can automatically also safely consume Elise. It is therefore important to use caution when first consuming Elise, thus requiring an instruction leaflet like that for Santana.

Explore further: Found - the apple gene for red

More information: The research results regarding the Elise apple variety are published in the scientific magazine Allergy onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02499.x/pdf

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