Why Does Kiwi Burn My Mouth?

Ever bitten into a juicy kiwi and thought, “Huh? Why does my mouth feel like it’s on fire?” Well, you’re not alone, my friend. This is a common reaction to eating kiwis, and it’s got a lot of people scratching their heads and reaching for a glass of water.

But why does this happen? Let’s dive in and find out!

Why Does Kiwi Burn My Mouth?

The burning sensation you experience when eating a kiwi comes from an enzyme called actinidin. This enzyme, found in kiwis, has the ability to break down proteins in your saliva and mouth tissue, leading to a burning or tingling sensation.

Additionally, the high vitamin C content and acidic compounds in kiwis can enhance this sensation, similar to the feeling you get when consuming citrus fruits.

It’s important to note that sensitivity to actinidin varies from person to person, so while some may enjoy a kiwi without any discomfort, others may feel as though they’ve taken a bite out of a spicy jalapeno.

Are Kiwis Supposed to Make Your Mouth Tingle?

Now you might be wondering, “Is this normal? Are kiwis supposed to make your mouth tingle?” Well, yes and no.

Some people are more sensitive to actinidin than others. So while one person might be able to munch on a kiwi without any problems, another person might feel like they’ve just licked a cactus. It’s all down to your individual sensitivity.

And it’s not just kiwis that can cause this reaction. Other fruits, like pineapples and papayas, also contain similar enzymes and can give your mouth a bit of a tingle.

How to Stop Kiwi from Burning Your Tongue?

Ok… sooooo, you love kiwis but don’t love the mouth-on-fire sensation. Got it! So, how do you stop kiwi from burning your tongue?

One way is to eat kiwi with dairy products, like yogurt or cream. The fat in dairy can help to neutralize the effects of actinidin. You can also try eating kiwi that’s been cooked or canned, as heat destroys the actinidin enzyme.

Another tip is to avoid eating the skin of the kiwi. The skin contains a higher concentration of actinidin, so by peeling the kiwi, you can reduce the burning sensation.


So there you have it! The mystery of the burning kiwi has been solved. Remember, if kiwi makes your mouth burn, it’s not because you’re weird. It’s just a natural reaction to the actinidin enzyme.

But with a few simple tricks, you can enjoy this delicious fruit without feeling like your mouth is on fire. So go ahead, grab a kiwi, and eat away! Just maybe have some yogurt on standby, just in case.

I am Jennifer, a fervent animal lover, and a dedicated vegan. Am the person behind the veganoga.com. I offer insights, advice, and personal stories that have inspired many in their journey towards a plant-based lifestyle. My journey into veganism has also been coupled with a love for writing. I used this passion to share my vegan experiences, to educate others about the benefits of plant-based living, and to advocate for animal rights. Find out more about me on the about page.