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Sensation of bitter taste in mouth thread.

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A few days ago we bought a pack of ASDA branded Pine nuts from ASDA in Crawley and a large pack of the ASDA brand muesli (decided to try this for the first time).

We sprinkled the pine nuts on the muesli and a few hours later the vile bitter taste with mild nausea experienced by my wife and I.

We suspected the new muesli and dumped that and went back Alpen brand - I put just a little on the a bowl of Alpen muesli and the same thing just milder.

I did a Google search and top of the search results was this thread - went and checked in the fridge where we keep the pine nuts and low and behold they are from China - the recent Chinese baby food poison case came to mind and I got concerned for our health.

I took the half packet to our ASDA shop and the store manageress has taken all the details and promised to investigate this.


Wow! As it turns out, I also ate Pine Nuts last Wednesday (about 4 days ago) and have had a horrible chemical taste in my mouth after every time I eat. Even after eating something sweet like a chocolate chip cookie! It's awful!!! I'm so happy for this post and can't wait for this to subside. I'll probably think twice before I eat Pine Nuts again!!!


I am yet another pine nut victim, with the classic symptoms reported by other posters. I have enlarged taste buds near the rear of my tongue as reported above, but since I never looked for that before, they may have been that way since birth. For what it's worth, my wife thinks that I am a "super taster" with more sensitive taste buds than others, and I can normally taste food going bad before she can.

These came from Trader Joe's. Raw. Labeled as "product of Korea, Russia or Vietnam." They are teardrop shaped and have a goodly amount of oil inside. They are going back to Trader Joes today, with some printouts of this thread and the URL's for the European Journal and Wikipedia.

It's too bad nobody is trying to find out what the difference is between the bad pine nuts and the ones that cause no problems. I see no alternative but to stop eating pine nuts entirely.

I note a lot of mention of pesto, and am wondering if there is some connection other than that pesto often has pine nuts in it. My fateful salad had lots of pine nuts and a pesto dressing made from the Costco pesto. That could just be a red herring.


Another victim of taste change due to pine nuts. These pine nuts were purchased in Quebec City, Canada on Dec 31st, 2008 and they were from China. Interestingly, my wife ate the same nuts and has not experienced the same problem. The symptoms started at lunch the day after eating the pine nuts at dinner.
As someone else mentioned, it tastes like bile, or like an asprin dissolving on your tongue. I'm only 48 hours into the symptoms, so it looks like I have to put up with this for a little while to come judging by others experiences.


Yet another pine nut victim with a bitter taste in my mouth, especially during and after eating. I'm near San Francisco, CA. Three nites ago, I ate a SMALL handful of pine nuts from a food bin while shopping at a local grocery store (Safeway). I'd wager that the nuts were from China, judging from all the other posts I've read. Here I thought I had a brain tumor or something, but I guess it's just my grazing-with-out-paying at the grocery store karma.

To anyone researching this phenomena: my incident seems to show that a relatively small ammount of (certain?) pine nuts can trigger this reaction. I'd say that I ate about 10-20 nuts, which probably only weighed about 1 or 2 grams, or so.

Also, I would describe the taste as bitter, not metalic or acidic. Based on this realization, I tried to see if I could enjoy food again by eating chocolate and drinking India Pale Ale, both of which feature a bitter flavor, and it works! These are the only foods/beverages that I've enjoyed consuming in the last 2 days. I guess I'll just have to go on a chocolate and ale diet for as long as this takes.

-M W Guthrie


Possible antidote / taste mask ?

Right now - this seems to work for me:

I'm still experimenting with this but I'm eating handfuls of dry roasted peanuts (Walgreens brand - bought a while back) - they taste "normal" which is a great relief after 3 days of nasty taste. Peanut butter also seemed to taste normal - I spooned a big dollop of it out and eat it straight. This seemed to leave a film on the inside of my mouth and then the jerky I was trying tasted OK (still a very slight bitter taste but not nearly as strong as earlier in the day) - the jerky was teriyaki so I guess they added sugar to it .... it's kind of ironic because I hate peanut butter ... but I'll eat it now !

The peanuts somehow seem to be blocking / diluting / masking the "usual" bitter taste. Honestly, it's a relief because I thought I was going to be eating nothing but grilled chicken/steak and low carb veggies / salad for the next few days (and even then they don't taste good)

I got hit with this on monday the 2nd of March after eating a salad with some bitter tasting pine nuts on the previous saturday evening (about 36 hours prior to the onset) - It was subtle at first and I thought little of it but as time progressed it got a lot worse to the point where I dreaded eating.

It's definitely worse with high carb foods - Bread / Potatoes / Tortillas - things like ketchup taste really bad. Grilled chicken is OK and it's surprising how many elements of a salad have carbs in them (plus dressing is a disaster - thought I did create a mayo + mustard + vinegar deal which was edible, must remember that when things get back to normal.)

I read somewhere else that activated charcoal might help and I started trying that (it's relatively safe in normal doses after all) - but I don't think that's helping (I'm using my wife as a "control" - she is afflicted by the same salad)

If nothing else being able to snack on "normal" food for a while makes the situation less stressful.

List of things which have helped / taste normal.

Water - tastes fine
Tea - (Green / Peppermint / etc.) UNSWEETENED - takes the taste away
Coffee - BLACK NO SUGAR - tastes OK
Diet Soda - Tastes slightly strange but not nearly as bad

Unsweetened gum (Xlyitol artificial sweetner) - slightly strange but not unpleasant (could be that I'm not used to this gum / brand) - helps flush the taste away

Real food:
Grilled Chicken
(Current planned dinner is some grilled meat and lo carb veggies e.g. Brocolli / Green Beens)

List of things which I am currently avoiding (basically anything with simple carbs they taste terrible) :
Potato chips / Corn Chips
Fruit !!! (including tomatoes, jalapenos, onions - e.g. Salsa !!)
Sauces / Ketchup etc.


Add me to those who are experiencing a bitter/chemical taste in the very back of my mouth and top of my throat. I had pine nuts on Tuesday at a restaurant in Denver, CO. It was whole roasted nuts as part of a salad - country of origin unknown. The horrible taste started was VERY mild on Thursday night, and then extremely noticeable when I had something to eat on Friday morning. It has gotten progressively worse over the weekend - the exception being the dinner I had on Friday night, which contained pesto (how ironic!) Initially, I thought that it was something related to either a sinus infection or Crohn's disease - I am glad to find out that it is more minor and will eventually go away.


Thank god for the internet, otherwise I would have never guessed what was wrong! I'm from the Netherlands. I've suffered from nut allergy all my life, yet pine nuts and peanuts were OK. Until I tried the pine nuts from Jumbo supermarket and put 'm in an overn dish - unroasted. Now I've had a horrible bitter taste for three days.

Things that seem to help:
Hot stuff, like peppers/chillies and 'sambal'.
Red wine also seems to help a bit: I've been drinking all the tacky wines that where stashed away at the back of the storage room.
All things sweet taste horrible!!
Peanuts taste OK.
And after eight chocolates are soothing, haha.

Good luck to all of you!
Hope my taste buds go back to normal soon!


one more victim of these tricky pine-nuts!i'm from Greece, i have never heard of that and i thought that there is something wrong with my taste! i ate too much pizza last night and i thought that my body has punished me for overloading!! :-)
i have noticed that the sweeter food you eat, the bitter taste you get! that has come from Hell! definitely
i would never imagine than pine nuts could affect my taste like this!! this is the second day and i hope that we will get rid of it as soon as possible!


I too am experiencing the same effects after eating pine nuts a few days ago, I bought mine out of the bulk bins at WINCO FOODS, in CHICO, CA, I am going there tomorrow to see if they can tell me the country of origin, and to get my money back. they are $12.00 a pound...


And yet another victim %-) . I've eaten pine nuts for years with no problem, but yesterday I woke up with a mild bitter taste in my mouth, as the day progressed this got worse until by the evening it was horrid, I couldn't sleep for this awful taste in my mouth. As discussed previously it's at the back of the throat like an Asprin and worse when I've eaten. I thought I had a sinus infection as i've had a bad cold but found this thread and yes I've eaten pine nuts just a small handful raw ...will check where they are from and take them back with details of this thread.
Thank you :-P can't wait to get rid of this horrid taste nothing like it!


I have been suffering these past 2 days after eating a 2 ounce jar of raw pine nuts. Most victims seem to have problems while eating, but I am tasting bitterness CONSTANTLY, which is a little worrying. Add to that the person who said it has been 6 weeks... yikes.


As so many others have said, thank God for this thread! I thought I was having a liver problem or in a moment of paranoia, thought I had ingested some type of poison.

I've been eating pine nuts in everything from hummus, pasta, salad, pizza and just by themselves for the past couple of weeks and have had no problem. Nothing tasted bad while I was eating it until 3 days ago. Suddenly, everything tasted nasty and bitter. At first, I thought it was the food and then I thought it was the vitamins I was taking and then I thought it was maybe a sinus infection and then I thought maybe it was dental related, etc.... NEVER would have associated it with the pine nuts!

My pine nuts are from Solon, Ohio. It doesn't say the country of origin. Thanks for all of your comments. I feel better now that I know and will wait for it to go away.


Ok, I am having the symptoms.. again! I had my first reaction in June of 2008. I have been very careful about reading labels and sourcing pine nuts from anywhere but China. I have had good luck with the Pine Nuts from Trader Joes, until today. They say that they are from Russia, Korea, or Vietnam, guess some chinese pine nuts made it into the bag!

Needless to say, I know the drill. Sugerless Gum and Minty things work ok for a fast fix.

I am going to file a complaint with the FDA. For those that are interested, here is the number to make a complaint in your state:

From the FDA website (

To report adverse reactions or other problems with FDA-regulated products, contact the FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator for your geographic area. If you require the use of a Relay Service, please call the Federal Relay Services (1-800-877-8339). This is a toll free relay service to call Federal agencies from TTY devices.

Please Note: There is not a Consumer Complaint Coordinator in each state. Consumer Complaint Coordinators are assigned by regions. Therefore, several states will have the same Consumer Complaint Coordinator assigned to it.


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