Grape Allergy and Grape Sensitivity

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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. 

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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)
  • Raisins
  • Currants
  • Dried Currants
  • Wine
  • Red Wine Vinegar and other vinegars such as balsamic vinegar and white balsamic vinegar
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Grapeseed Oil  
  • Grape Flour

Grape Sensitivity 

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 yeast, pollen, tannins, nitrites, and nitrates.

Grape Cross-Reactivity with Rosacae 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:

  • Blackberry
  • Boysenberry
  • Dewberry
  • Loganberry
  • Longberry
  • Raspberry
  • Rosehip
  • Strawberry
  • Youngberry

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.

Other Foods May Be Cross-Reactive With Grape Allergy 

Grape Allergy may be cross-reactive with the following foods:

  • Asparagus
  • Beer
  • Cabbage
  • Celery (Not to worry! Even though this is a really common ingredient, there many ways substitute for celery.)
  • Cherry
  • Chestnut
  • Cucumber
  • Date
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Fig
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Lupin
  • Maize
  • Mellon
  • Mulberry
  • Mustard
  • Orange
  • Peanuts
  • Pineapple
  • Tomato
  • Tree Nuts

People with grape allergy may be susceptible to vine pollen so olives and olive oil may be a potential trigger.

Hidden Sources Of Grapes

Be on the lookout for grapes in the following foods: jelly, fruit preserves, candy, cereals, granola, grapeseed oil, dried fruit, fruit bars, trail mix, baked goods, fermented foods, wine, juices & juice blends, various types of vinegars, and flavored water. 

Even some breads (like sourdough) start with a fermentation process that uses grapes, so be sure to read labels. 

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:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Blueberry
  • Fresh Cranberry
  • Grapefruit
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Plum

 

 

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

 

 

Red grapes with green grape leaves.

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

 

Four glasses of wine going from light to dark in color on brown oak barrel.

Wine – For alternatives to wine, consider one or more of the following:

  • Sparkling Apple Cider (non alcoholic)
  • Hard Cider (alcoholic)
  • Liquor made from grains (tolerance will vary based on several factors such as alcohol tolerance, histamine tolerance, and ingredients in the liquor).
  • White Vinegar (if being used in cooking to provide acid.)
  • Lemon Juice (if being used in cooking to provide acid.)

 

 

Red WineVinegar – For alternatives to Red Wine Vinegar, consider one or more of the following:

  • White Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice

 

 

Ingredients and supplies for apple pie including apples, wisk, roller, flour, butter, spoon, bowl, egg, cream of tartar and cookbook on a wooden surface.

Cream of Tartar – For alternatives to Cream of Tartar, consider one or more of the following:

  • Lemon Juice
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Powder
  • Buttermilk
  • Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

Grape Seed Oil – For alternatives to Grape Seed Oil, consider one or more of the following:

  • Avocado Oil
  • Soy Bean Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flax Oil
  • Butter
  • Lard 
  • Tallow
  • Peanut Oil
  • Canola 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.

References:

Thermo Scientific: https://www.phadia.com/en/products/allergy-testing-products/immunocap-allergen-information/food-of-plant-origin/fruits/grape/

Food Families Guide, Oxford Biomedical Technologies, Inc.

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Authors

  • Lisa Hugh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Leap Therapist. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration. As a a Food Sensitivity Expert, her passion is helping people with complex medical and nutrition needs find food and groceries that are safe and enjoyable. Lisa enjoys helping clients in her private practice.

  • Kristen Rohrer has a doctorate degree in Health Sciences. She is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, a Licensed Dietitian and Physician Assistant. Her specialties are pediatric nutrition, women's health, nutrition as preventative medicine.

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18 thoughts on “Grape Allergy and Grape Sensitivity”

  1. Can you be allergic to grapes yet still be okay to drink wine if the allergy is mild? Or is it possible to be allergic to only white grapes and fine with red?

    Reply
    • When it comes to adverse food reactions, lots of things are possible. So, it may be possible to be allergic to one but not the other. However, it is also very possible to be allergic to both and to have an allergic reaction to wine, even if the allergy is mild. There is also a risk of getting worse allergic reactions the more times you have an exposure. This sounds like a better safe than sorry situation. The good thing is there are lots of alternatives to wine. Can you think of any that would work for you?

      Reply
  2. I recently did a food sensitivity test and grapes came back as high on the list. I don’t notice a reaction from raw grapes, but I get flush from most wines. It’s usually the first half of a glass I’ll get hot, red and blotchy but it eventually goes away by the 2nd glass. Some of the other foods like celery, pineapple and banana also came back as sensitive to. I am working with a functional medicine doctor, but also trying to make sense of this all for myself as well.

    Reply
    • You might have more than one reaction happening when you drink wine, such as reacting to grapes in the wine and reacting to other food chemicals at the same time. You might be more comfortable and safer choosing beverage that is not grape based.

      Reply
  3. I just came to add my experience. For at least 20 years, I would get horrible stomach pain any time I ate grapes, drank grape juice or wine, or anything that had grapes or raisins in it. I took me many years before I realized the grapes were the culprit. It was an agonizing burning pain in the pit of my stomach and I thought I had ulcers for a while until I figured out every time it happened I had consumed something related to grapes. No other food caused this pain. Then last year I started having that same pain that I have only ever felt with grapes although I hadn’t consumed any!! After about a week of the pain not going away I went to the ER and had to have emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. I took a chance on grapes again now that the gall bladder is gone and magically I don’t get those pains any more. So to me, that means all these years the grapes that were probably causing A gall bladder attack!! I can’t find ANY info online that says grapes can irritate your gallbladder so I don’t know why that is. But this may be helpful to those of you who are having the same symptoms. Maybe have your gall Bladder checked

    Reply
  4. I’ve noticed that my lips are chapped and puffy and cracked at the corners. Admittedly I love grapes and eat them a lot. Can these symptoms be caused by grapes (green and red)?

    Reply
    • Hi Marsha! It’s possible, but lips cracked at the corners could also be nutrition deficiencies. I’d start with a visit to your primary care provider to get an assessment, especially if you can’t easily identify grapes or any other food as an immediate trigger.

      Reply

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