If strawberries weren't red they wouldn't cause allergies

Researchers say if strawberries were another colour they might be safer for allergy sufferers to eat.

They have pinpointed a protein thought to be responsible for strawberry allergies and it is associated with the fruit's red colour.

Individuals allergic to the fruit can suffer itching and swelling in the mouth and throat when exposed to strawberries.

Rikard Alm, a researcher from Lund University in Sweden, says there have been reports that people with the allergy are able to eat white strawberry varieties with no ill- effects.

He say the allergen is in some way or other related to the red colour, but it is unclear exactly how.

The research found that the protein, one of thousands encoded by a strawberry's genes, resembles a known allergen in birch pollen.

Further investigations are planned on proteins.

Each year food allergies kill eight people in the UK.

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