Toxicology Investigation

Journal of Medical Toxicology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 278-280

First online:

A Trial Investigating the Symptoms Related to Pine Nut Syndrome

  • N. Z. BallinAffiliated withDepartment of Food Chemistry, Danish Veterinary and Food AdministrationDepartment of Food Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen Email author 


During the last few years, thousands of cases of pine nut-related dysgeusia have been reported. The symptoms involved are predominantly related to taste disturbances such as a constant bitter or metallic taste. The taste disturbance has been reported to occur 1–2 days after ingestion of pine nuts from the species of Pinus armandii. This paper describes a small trial where six volunteers consumed six to eight pine nuts suspected to cause dysgeusia. Incubation periods, symptoms and their duration were recorded. The trial showed that all subjects had developed symptoms of pine nut-related dysgeusia. Four out of six subjects experienced the classical bitter and metallic taste 1–2 days after ingestion. Two subjects experienced minor symptoms such as dryness and a sensation of enlarged tonsils. After the disappearance of symptoms, laboratory tests determined the pine nuts to originate from the species of P. armandii. A follow-up conversation with the subjects after 1 year showed no recurrent symptoms.


Dysgeusia Pine mouth syndrome Pine nut syndrome Pine nuts Pinus armandii