Originally published on January 26, 2020. Updated and republished on September 29, 2023.
Have you been diagnosed with a grape allergy or grape sensitivity?
Do you suspect that you are allergic to grapes? Have you noticed that you get symptoms after eating grapes, wine, or other related foods?
Having adverse food reactions to grapes can be dangerous and sometimes hard to identify.
In this article you’ll learn more about grapes, hidden sources of grapes and foods that are related to grapes which may trigger symptoms. We’ll also go over how to make better food choices and avoid related triggers.
Table of Contents
Grape Food Family
Grapes are part of the Vitaceae Food Family.
If you are allergic or sensitive to grapes, you may be allergic or sensitive to the following foods:
- Grape Juice
- Grape Leaves (Dolmades)
- Dried Currants
- Red Wine Vinegar and other vinegars such as balsamic vinegar and white balsamic vinegar
- Cream of Tartar
- Grapeseed Oil
- Grape Flour
This condition is generally rare but cases have been documented.
Grape allergy is due to the immune system reacting after exposure to grapes.
Some research indicates that people with grape allergy actually have Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP) Allergy. People with this condition may have adverse reactions to many foods.
An allergic reaction happens when the immune system identifies a food as a harmful substance and releases antibodies to defend against it. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Difficulty swallowing
- Itching in the mouth
- Nasal congestion
- Swelling of any body part
- Swelling of the face
- Swelling of the lips
- Swelling of the tongue and throat
- Tingling in the mouth
- Trouble breathing
Call your doctor immediately if you or your child have symptoms of an allergic reaction. Call 911 in case of difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, or other life-threatening symptoms.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. It can be caused by grapes allergy or other allergens. Reactions may be more severe if more than one part of the body is affected.
Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis include:
- Cardiovascular symptoms
- Constriction of the airway
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensation of a lump in the throat
- Drop in blood pressure
- Shock, including a drastic drop in blood pressure
- Swollen throat
- Tightening of the airway
These reactions require immediate medical attention.
Managing Grape Allergy:
If you suspect that you have a pectin allergy, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. They can help confirm the allergy and guide you in managing it effectively.
Some people only experience an allergic reaction when consuming grapes or grape products listed above.
However, some people react to grapes, wine, and other fermented products due to other components of the foods due to food sensitivities and other intolerances.
Allergic reactions and other types of adverse food reactions may be triggered by fructose, histamine, FOCMAPS, lectins, yeast, pollen, tannins, pectin, salicylates, nitrites, and nitrates. (Grapes are generally low in histamine and FODMAPS but wine made from grapes may be high in both.)
Cross-Reactivity with Rosacea Food Family
It is suspected that those with grape allergies may also have allergic reactions to foods in the Rosacae Food Family.
Foods in the Rosacae (Rose) Food Family include:
Due to the specific proteins found in grapes, people with grape allergy may react to many foods. Reactions may vary widely or not occur at all. Working with a professional is sometimes needed to identify triggers and safe foods.
Cross Reactivity & Oral Allergy Syndrome
Grape Allergy may be cross-reactive with the following foods:
- Celery (Not to worry! Even though this is a really common ingredient, there many ways substitute for celery.)
- Tree Nuts
People with grape allergy may be susceptible to vine pollen so olives and olive oil may be a potential trigger. Similarly, people who are regularly exposed to vineyards may develop grape allergy.
Grapes contain profilin, which is associated with Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome and Oral Allergy Syndrome.
This purple fruit also contains Chitinase-like Protein which is associated with Latex Food Syndrome.
Adverse reactions may also be related to the presence of Thaumatin-like Protein.
Hidden Sources Of Grapes
Be on the lookout for grapes in the following foods, especially in foods that contain raisins which are dried grapes:
- Baked Goods
- Breads like Sourdough that start with a fermentation process.
- Dried Fruits
- Fermented Foods
- Flavored Water
- Fruit Bars
- Fruit Preserves
- Grapeseed Oil
- Juices and juice blends
- Smoothies made with juice or natural sweeteners
- Trail Mix
Alternatives to Grapes
If you are looking for foods to substitute for grapes, try to think about what the grape is used for in the recipe. Grapes contribute color, sweetness, texture, and acidity to many dishes.
Here is a quick guide to help identify alternatives to grapes and grape products.
Fresh Grapes – For an alternative to Fresh Grapes, consider one of the following:
- Fresh Cranberry
Grape Juice – For an alternative to Grape Juice, consider one of the following:
We recommend 100% organic juice made from a single fruit in order to reduce the chances of hidden ingredients such as other fruit juices, sweeteners, preservatives and pesticides.
- Apple Juice
- Blueberry Juice
- Cranberry Juice (Not Cranberry Juice Cocktail)
- Grapefruit Juice
- Mango Juice
- Orange Juice
- Papaya Juice
Grape Leaves (Dolmades) – For an alternative to Grape Leaves, consider one of the following:
- Collard Greens
- Kale Leaves
- Turnip Greens
Raisins & Currants – For an alternative to Raisins and Currants, consider one or more of the following:
- Craisins / Dried Cranberries (Be sure to read labels carefully. Some contain added sugars, are sweetened or flavored with other juices, or come in bags lined with vegetable oils.)
- Dried Apple
- Dried Apricot
- Dried Mango
- Dried Papaya
Wine – For alternatives to wine, consider one or more of the following:
- Hard Cider (alcoholic)
- Lemon Juice (if being used in cooking to provide acid.)
- Liquor made from grains (tolerance will vary based on several factors such as alcohol tolerance, histamine tolerance, and ingredients in the liquor).
- Sparkling Apple Cider (non alcoholic)
- White Vinegar (if being used in cooking to provide acid.)
Red Wine Vinegar – For alternatives to Red Wine Vinegar, consider one or more of the following:
- Lemon Juice
- Lime Juice
- White Vinegar
Cream of Tartar – For alternatives to Cream of Tartar, consider one or more of the following:
- Baking Powder
- Lemon Juice
- White Vinegar
Grape Seed Oil – For alternatives to Grape Seed Oil, consider one or more of the following:
- Avocado Oil
- Canola Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Corn Oil
- Flax Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Soy Bean Oil
- Peanut Oil
Help For Grape Allergy & Grape Sensitivity
Grape allergy is overall a rare condition and identifying trigger foods may be challenging.
We recommend working with an Allergist, Registered Dietitian or Certified Leap Therapist to identify which foods are safest for you and which foods you should avoid.
Choosing groceries when you have food allergies can be challenging. This is why we recommend choosing groceries made with a single ingredient and focusing on what you CAN eat, not just what you have to avoid.
Do you like what you read? Sign up for the Single Ingredient Groceries email newsletter.