Pine Nut Syndrome

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th August 2019

TasteCooking has published an article recently discussing the benefits of pine nuts and the reasons to why ‘everything you eat with pine nuts in it, tastes better’.

In early 2001, there were strange mild epidemic conditions that were picked up by the Belgian Anti-Poisons Center; individuals around Belgium reported inexplicable bitter tastes in their mouth, one that is similar to “chewing on aluminium foil with a hint of bile”. No one knew what was the cause at the time.

Later on, researchers found that people who were experiencing that taste mentioned they had eaten pine nuts a few days before the symptoms had set in. Then, Pine Nut Syndrome was classified as a condition after that incident. However, the condition was still not resolved; not all pine nuts caused it, the victims did not share any common biological factors, and the source of the nuts came from different cultivators.

“One early theory suggested rancid pine nuts were the culprit, but a scientist named Grace Hui Shan Tan later found the real cause of PNS to be a specific sub-species of pine nut common in China, which isn’t usually eaten but entered the global food supply in the late 2000s during a mass shortage. Not all Chinese pine nuts cause PNS, so don’t be discriminatory about it, but do be cautious about your source. There’s no cure for the neurochemical response to PNS except time” said Max Falkowitz, a reporter at

To have a look at the original article, click here.