The unbearable awfulness of pine mouth

Pine_nuts_pinemouth.jpg Serious Eats is curious if you've ever experienced Pine Mouth, a long-lasting metallic taste in your mouth after eating pine nuts.

Roger Hyam's blog post outlines the issue and links to a medical article which confirms the syndrome but offers no obvious cause. Are Chinese pine nuts to blame?

Tips for avoiding Pine Mouth. Reports from Chowhound & Yelp. Official position from the International Nut and Dried Fruit Foundation.

[Image: Nuno Tavares via Wikimedia Commons, cc licensed]


  1. The comment thread on that blog post is huge but no one is commenting on how come everyone seems to have got the effect after eating the nuts on a Monday….

  2. Until this is better studied, I will avoid. I have a container of them in the cupboard, but I will just look at them. Just look at them.

  3. I experience an odd form of masochism with that stuff. I know my lips and the inside of my mouth will feel a bit stung and puffy afterward, but I’ll eat the pine nuts anyways (not on their own, but as an ingredient in something else).

    1. Chuck, your reaction sounds different. It’s exactly how I react to walnuts and MAY be an allergic reaction. If it is, it’s something to watch, as it could get worse. Hasn’t stopped me from eating walnuts, but then I’m reckless in some ways.


  4. this is tremendously odd to me! i live in new mexico, where pine nuts are so plentiful people stop on the interstate, walk into the median to harvest them on their own and sell 5 lb bags at gas stations.
    sometimes when they’re harvested incorrectly you don’t get all the skin off and they taste SUPER bitter, but i’ve never had that last for more than a couple of hours.

  5. I did extensive research and coordinated the work of 6 other bloggers on the pet food contamination story of 2007. Did you know that over four thousand cats and dogs died as a direct result of poor source materials from China? I’ll bet you only thought a few hundred died. That is because there is no CDC for animals and pets. The FDA was the group listing the dead and they had no arm in charge of authenticating the dead. Another four thousand or so were sickened and have damaged kidney’s as a result of the melamine contamination.

    Did you know that the FDA has no ability to recall anything except baby formula? It has to request that the food be recalled. Now most companies do it but you get front organizations like the Pet Food Manufacturers whose goal is to obfuscate and protect their funders instead of the consumers.

    Someone needs to track down the bad pine nut batches, do some serious analysis and then source the nuts specifically. Why isn’t the FDA doing it? Funding. They have a massive purview but a tiny budget compared to the USDA. I don’t expect the International Nut Foundation to do this, but frankly they should. If they don’t and this spreads, it will put a huge hit into sales of good pine nuts and the people who sell those.

    In the US when it was discovered that tainted wheat gluten was the source of the pet food contamination I found out that only three US sources of wheat Gluten existed where there were once 12. Why? China underpriced them all. How did they do this? One trick was to fake the wheat gluten protein content using the industrial chemical melamine. That tricked the tests into thinking that the gluten had a higher protein content than it actually did.

    Do you wonder what happened to the tainted dog and cat food that killed the thousands? It was sold to the chicken and pig processors for feed. We tried to get the FDA and USDA to condemn those chickens and pigs that ate the tainted feed. They would not. They issued a report that said that humans that ate the chickens that ate the tainted pet food would not hurt humans. Thet based this on 20 year old rat studies and guess work.

    They also would not release the name of the chicken and pig processor who sold these products into the human food supply. Why? Because the major processor got to the USDA and the FDA and told them that it would hurt their business. They did not want to cull 20 million chickens and 56,000 hogs. I found out who it was but didn’t reveal it because I didn’t want to get sued by Big Chicken like Oprah did by Big Beef.

    Now you would think that if humans started dying from the same thing that killed cats and dogs they might have acted. You would be wrong. Over 5,000 people die each year in the US because of contaminated food. Because these are not grouped and connected to a single outbreak they are ignored. Only when enough white or rich children from a single source (like the Jack in the Box e-coli outbreak) will there be a change. Jack-in-the Box hamburger meat is now the safest.
    But until the children of rich white people in the media and in Washington D.C. start dying quickly from another food related contamination issue nothing will happen. I worked with Senator Dick Durbin’s office on the pet food issue and he was great. But he and his staff know that an overhaul of our food safety system is hampered by foreign sources and industry control.

    When China had trade reps coming to D.C. the Bush White House called the FDA and had them cancel press conferences on tainted pet food. The didn’t want to embarrass the Chinese while they were in town.

    Global sourcing of food can lead to serious problems when we have a system that looks at the lowest cost and not safety. Something like 1 percent of the food coming into the US is tested for safety. And if tainted food does get sent back when caught they often ship it to another port and slip in.

    1. spocko, thank you for posting how seriously rotten our own food protection system really is. But when I read your post, I was disappointed.

      “They also would not release the name of the chicken and pig processor who sold these products into the human food supply. Why? Because the major processor got to the USDA and the FDA and told them that it would hurt their business. They did not want to cull 20 million chickens and 56,000 hogs. I found out who it was but didn’t reveal it because I didn’t want to get sued by Big Chicken like Oprah did by Big Beef.”

      What a shame you chose to not speak out for that reason.


  6. I think the ‘pine mouth’ thing is absolutely fascinating. If I hadn’t seen a paper or two suggesting the phenomenon is real (if unexplained) I’d be laughing — it seems so ridiculous. But maybe I’ve only had tasty pine nuts.

  7. Actually, on that note, does anyone have advice on how to deliberate create pine nut mouth? I want to experience it for myself.

  8. Although #8 tells an interesting story, the bit that jumped out at me the most is that the “Internaional Nut Foundation” is a real organization.

  9. I frequently cook with pine nuts and never had a problem. I usually end up buying Diamond brand because that’s what my supermarket carries. I’ve heard that they’re grown in the US, but I’m not 100% sure.

  10. I got a case of pine mouth when the sandwich shop I frequent changed their pine nuts from big yellow ones to smaller, browner ones. Thankfully it only lasted about a week.

    They changed back to the big yellow ones after a few weeks (I don’t know if they just used them all up or if a fellow sufferer complained) and I haven’t had any problems since.

  11. I eat pine nuts by the handful, and I’ve never had pine mouth, nor have I heard of anyone who has ever experienced it. Makes me wonder if pine mouth is one of those weird culture specific things, like koro.

    1. I eat pine nuts by the handful, and I’ve never had pine mouth, nor have I heard of anyone who has ever experienced it. Makes me wonder if pine mouth is one of those weird culture specific things, like koro.

      We think alike. Some sort of mass hysteria or conversion disorder.

      1. I have ben eating pine nuts for years butonly had a reactin this week-end from some I purchased from Julian Graves. I jnew nothing about pine mouth until I googled the symptoms I have – which is everything tastes of washing liquid or metal. Believe me it is not hysteria. It is a good way of giving up alcohol as it now tastes disgusting!!

    2. I have eaten pine nuts without issue for over 15 years and had the pine mouth symtoms since yesterday after eating them 2 days in a row . Never heard of it before and searched the web frantically to see what on earth was going on. Really unpleasant as I love food and get punished with the toxic flavour each time I put something in my mouth. Revolting and weird. I live in Hong Kong and the nuts were of course of Chinese origin.

    1. Because if you haven’t experienced it yourself, it can’t possibly be real.

      Of course you’re right — I’m being deliberately silly here.

      Though I will say this seems to be a particularly poorly documented effect (only that one 2001 paper everyone cites, which from the abstract seems to have been based on self-experimentation).

  12. What are these pine nuts of which you speak?

    I’ve eaten lots of Pinon nuts and local Sugar Pine nuts when the cones have escaped the attention of squirrels. Never had anything like that. Sounds like you’re getting some cadmium coated overseas specials.

  13. Re: mass hysteria or conversion disorder

    I’ve been eating pine nuts happily for years. The day after Thanksgiving, I grabbed a container of pine nuts my wife had bought when I was travelling, and used some in a quesadilla. I noticed that they were a lot smaller than the usual ones.

    Later that morning, when I ate some leftover stuffing, it was bitter. Everything I ate had that bitter aftertaste.

    I had never heard of “pine mouth” or any problems with pine nuts. When I first googled the issue, all I could find for “bitter taste in mouth” or something like that were (1) liver cancer, (2) early symptom of ALS, or (3) post-nasal drip. I knew I had some post-nasal drip, so I tried to convince myself it was that. I didn’t go to the doctor, because, well, I’m a guy. A day later, I googled “bitter aftertaste” because I realized I really only had the symptom when I’d just eaten something; it wasn’t present the rest of the time. That’s when I saw the stuff about pine nuts, and realized that I had indeed eaten some on two consecutive days.

    It went on for a bit more than a week.

    Is it possible that I had “mass hysteria” or a “conversion disorder” when I didn’t hear about the pine nut thing for a couple days after I started having the symptoms? Only if you believe that I was somehow affected by the psychic energy of pine nut sufferers, because I sure didn’t have access to the information in any other way. And if you believe that, you’re beyond help.

  14. Is it possible that I had “mass hysteria” or a “conversion disorder” when I didn’t hear about the pine nut thing for a couple days after I started having the symptoms? Only if you believe that I was somehow affected by the psychic energy of pine nut sufferers, because I sure didn’t have access to the information in any other way. And if you believe that, you’re beyond help.

    I wasn’t 100% serious about that, btw.

    But it is still going to take more than a few Internet testimonials to convince me this is real. I mean, I’m still being convinced Fibromyalgia is real, and there are supposedly as many as six million sufferers in the US alone.

    To be fair, at this point, I wouldn’t even believe pine mouth was real if I experienced it myself, unless it were a blind test or something.

    1. I’m still being convinced Fibromyalgia is real, and there are supposedly as many as six million sufferers in the US alone. To be fair, at this point, I wouldn’t even believe pine mouth was real if I experienced it myself, unless it were a blind test or something.

      If you doubt your own senses that much, you might want to figure out what disorder you’re suffering from rather than projecting one onto other people.

    2. I’m on day 4 of having a very bad taste in my mouth…..sort of metallic and bitter, after eating a handful of pine nuts that I bought at Whole Foods. I have eaten pine nuts quite a few times before and have never had an issue. It really sucks, because everything I eat tastes like soap. Can’t wait until this goes away. I will probably never eat pine nuts again, because it’s pretty miserable. I had never heard of this condition until a few days ago.

  15. I too have been stricken by pine-nut syndrome. I consume pine nuts as a regular part of my diet and never had trouble until recently. I hope they find a cure, I would hate to give up pine nuts.

  16. i wouldn’t believe it if i hadn’t experienced it as well. i ate a handful of pine nuts at work. there are lots around all the time and it was a habit i had to just eat a handful once a week or so. then everything i ate had a bitter aftertaste for a little more than a week. i tried to find out what it could be searching the internet. found almost the same results as some of you. then i read about cadmium poisoning or overdose from nuts and found out more about it then the whole pine nut thing clicked it was definitely what i had eaten. it even happened to another guy i worked with a month or so later. i didn’t even talk about. he just brought it up one day and i told him what had happened to me. i told him about what i thought it might be. told him to wait on going to the doctor and see if it would just go away after a bit. it did. i am staying away from pine nuts, it was so bad.

  17. I love how people think it can’t be real unless it happened to them.

    Anyways, I say thank god for google.

    I had may be 3 tbsp pine nuts from Whole Foods a while back (also around thanksgivings ,I think). I’ve had pine nuts before and am not allergic. the nuts tasted okay, nothing special.

    Usually, food poisoning takes affect within a day and it’s easy to guess what you ate is bad, but this time it was tricky b/c I didn’t get the metallic taste until the next day.

    It lasted day after day. if google didn’t lead me to others sufferers I would have thought I’m dying and gone to the hospital

  18. Since pine nuts can leave a metallic taste, I would assume the same could be said for pine bolts. Right?

  19. I understand the urge to be skeptical of mysterious symptoms, after all there is no shortage of hypochondriacs in our society. That being said, I can guarantee that anyone who has experienced it will KNOW that something is off.

    Sometime over last summer my girlfriend bought a few ounces of pine nuts from Sprouts to make pasta. We both love pine nuts so we probably consumed at least half the bag that night. The next morning I tried to drink a glass of water and it tasted like chemicals so I dumped it out.l just assumed there was some leftover detergent in the glass and thought nothing of it. Sure enough, anything I ate or drank after that left a chemical aftertaste in my mouth. I told my girlfriend about it and she admitted that she was experiencing the same thing. As the previous poster stated, it isn’t a constant bitter taste, it only occurs when you eat or drink something.

    As already mentioned, this isn’t something I had ever heard of; I had no previous knowledge of pine nuts having this effect and until I googled it.

    Since that time I have only heard of one friend who experienced it. They were complaining over Thanksgiving of having a bitter taste in their mouth. I asked them if they had recently eaten any pine nuts and sure enough they had some in a salad a few days earlier.

  20. I can only echo the experience detailed above.

    One day, I noticed everything I was eating tasted awful and bitter – I drinking a glass of wine at the time, and noticed that it tasted bad, so asked my wife if it was off, but she said it was fine. So I drank a glass of water – and that tasted awful too. I didn’t think much of it and went to bed. The following morning, I had a couple of slices of toast for breakfast and they, too, tasted bitter and terrible.

    Like the poster above, I googled and stumbled across the Dutch paper on the problem, and remembered that, yes, two or three days previous I had eaten pine nuts in a salad. Checking the bag, they were indeed chinese, too. It lasted about a week for me, fading very slowly over this time.

    And no, I wouldn’t have believed it and would have attributed it to mass hysteria or something too, if it hadn’t happened to me. I acknowledge that I am a biased sample of one here, but I’m damned if I can come up with any other explanation of it.

    1. cawhitworth. Do you still have the bag of pine nuts?

      If you did we could get a sample to the FDA and get it tested.

  21. I’m experiencing it even as I write. Sat down to find out what I was dying of, apparently it’s pine mouth. nice to be special.

  22. Ate some raw pine nuts from Whole foods on Sunday, by Tuesday morning everything tasted bitter…first it was my grilled cheese sandwich(thought I had bad butter), then my donut tasted bad, then I threw my starbucks away…by Tuesay night I was on google to find out the cause of my discomfort..first post is about Pine Mouth. So now I guess I have a two week opportunity to lose weight……always was a PollyAnna.

  23. I have eaten pine nuts my entire life. My grandparents would take us to harvest them in the mountains near our home, but last Friday my sister and I had pine nuts on a pizza and now I have the dreaded Pine Mouth phenomenon that has been described. It is awful! The bitterness started yesterday and I thought that something horrible was happening to me. Everything tastes awful! I will stick to the pine nuts we harvest and avoid them at all restaurants going forward!

  24. Holy bananas, this is SCARY!!! I quickly realized this was “pine mouth” since I had pine nuts for my second time EVER a few days ago (the first time was 2 weeks ago, but they were roasted – didn’t get “pine mouth” from that, btw!! Could’ve been a different pine nut brand, non-China specific!) – And here I am, stuck with this HORRIBLY strong flavor in my mouth. I just did a CT scan of my head 1 week ago so I KNOW it’s not brain cancer! :p But this still feels horrible! I want it to go away NOW! It’s been like this for 1 day! Can’t take it anymore!!!!

  25. I’ve had pine-mouth for a couple of days now but the severity of it is certainly less than on the first day that I noticed it.

    It started up two days after consuming a handful of roasted pine nuts at a friend’s wedding. I didn’t think anything of it – I regularly ingest pine nuts in a variety of meals and have never experienced this unpleasant metallic after-taste.

    I was relieved to hear the diagnosis from a friend who went through the experience several months ago and nearly lost her sanity trying to find out what it was.

    I guess the only thing to do is wait it out (brushing your teeth or gurgling copious amounts of mouth wash don’t help) and be very careful about the origin of pine nuts I have in future. Also be aware that certain foods (eg red wine) seem to bring out the metallic taste even more strongly.

  26. I LOVE pine nuts and eat them regularly. My little sister recently had “pine mouth” and I teased her about it, telling her I’d never stop eating pine nuts, they were too good. On Tuesday I made one of my favorite salads (green beans, potatoes, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and basil). I’ve made this salad dozens of times, almost always using raw pine nuts from Trader Joe’s which I toast myself. I did the same this time and voila, 1 day later I had pine mouth. It’s pretty crappy, but not as bad as my sister made it out to be. I just can’t believe that I’ve had pine nuts a million times, and now I get pine mouth. I’ll keep eating them, though. They are just too good.

  27. I am in Australia and am experiencing this problem right now having eaten a salad with heaps of pine nuts in it 4 days ago. It did not hit immediately, but 2 days afterwards which i thought was strange. the metallic/chemical taste is not there all the time but is noticeable when i eat or drink…like a bitter aftertaste. i’ve eaten plenty of pine nuts before and have never had this problem so not sure why now. it’s awful and i just hope it does away soon. it makes everything taste like it has oven cleaner in it..even chocolate! i’ve found the worst thing to have is red wine.

    1. Hi, I am also in Australia and have had this on and off over the past year, not knowing until today that it was from pine nuts. It started subtly on Monday, was really bad on Tuesday and still bad today. Thinking back, I realised I had pine nuts on Sunday night in a pasta, in Brisbane. I’ve been eating them for years but never had the problem until the last 6-12 months. Nice to know others are having the same problem but still it’s kinda concerning that something has changed in the processing of this food that’s making people sick! And also that it’s not confined to the US.

  28. I am currently experiencing my second case of “pine mouth”, as far as I can recall. The first instance occured a few years ago. I made myself an omelette and a glas of milk and noticed a nasty bitter after-taste. At first I thought there was something wrong with the eggs, the milk or the bread, but as it turned out everything tasted bitter. I thought I found the cause, as the frying oil I used to make my omelette was passed the due date. I concluded that that must have been it. The next few days, the bitter taste lingered but was getting less dominant by the day.

    A few months ago, my brother happened to tell me about this phenomenon and he read somewhere that this is probably caused by Chinese pine nuts.

    I am currently suffering from another case of “pine mouth” and now I remember what my brother was telling me about. Low and behold – I had home-made carpaccio sandwiches with pine nuts on May 16th and 17th. I started really noticing the bitter after taste yesterday. Thank god the effect is already starting to deteriorate.

    What is striking to me is that this phenomenon seems to be generating a lot of attention (and victims) over here in The Netherlands. It’s been discussed on national TV quite a few times and the publication is also Dutch, as another commenter pointed out. Is there somekind of connection perhaps?

  29. I too, have experienced Pine Mouth. Mine occurred after eating pesto made with pine nuts and a couple of handfuls straight from the bag. It really is horrible. For me, the bitterness was worse with really bland foods like oatmeal or rice. It took two weeks for my taste to return to normal. My sister ate the same pine nuts and did not experience the dreaded Pine Mouth. I still have the bag, because I was thinking of returning them to Trader Joes.

  30. My experience follows the paper’s account to the letter. (Journal of Medical Toxicology At my first bite of food this morning I was struck with a terrible bitter taste. I kept testing/tasting things but couldn’t pin point any cause. After trying very bland items midday, I finally googled “extreme bitter taste” and found the reference to pine nuts. Bingo: It’s June 2nd but on May 31st, I made pesto, snacking on a handful of newly purchased pine nuts. I’ve eating plenty of pine nuts before (but not for close to a year) and this has never occurred before. I put in a call to the company (SunRidge Farm) to ask about the origin, but the package says, “Our buyers travel extensively throughout the world to visit farmers…” so it’s possible that they were from China. In terms of cause – a compound called propylthiouracil (PROP)results in 25% of the population sensing an extreme bitter taste, so-called “supertasters.”( I took part in a taste demonstration once and was identified as one of the “supertasters.” I wonder whether the compound in the offending nuts is similar to PROP?

  31. I too am experiencing pine mouth. I was thinking that I must have developed jaundice – or be in need of some kind of liver transplant .. (okay, I’m a hypochondriac, but the bitter taste really is quite pronounced).

    After googling I found the possible connection to pine nuts.

    I don’t usually eat them in any large amount, but I’ve been eating home made granola for breakfast over the past few days which has a lot of pine nuts in it. They’d been in the cupboard for close to a year (weren’t _quite_ past their expiration date yet). Maybe it’s to do with shelf life? There wasn’t any mention of the country of origin on the nuts.

    The bitter taste is pretty awful; like others mention, it’s pretty much only after eating. The first time I was convinced the food must have been bitter, but I had the same affect this morning when I was eating porridge. Really isn’t nice at all .. I’d like normal taste back – hope I don’t have to wait ten days!

  32. I have it now, second time, first time round figured I had become intolerant to coffee, then thought needed a filling. This time can pin point it to the actual day I had the pine nuts with spinach (three days before everything began to taste metallic!).
    Am just grateful this condition is covered on the net otherwise i would have been paying for another filing I don’t need. Always worse after eating and drinking, hoping it doesn’t last a full ten days!!!

  33. I have it, too, having found this link after googling “pine mouth”. It sucks! I live in Italy and most Italians have a bias against all Chinese imports (tainted, spoiled, etc.), so I’m surprised it happened to me here since Italians are so careful about not using Chinese fruit/veggies/raw ingredients for cooking.

    I ate the pine nuts in a salad at a favorite (upscale, elegant) restaurant where I’ve eaten many times before. I didn’t get any sort of food poisoning, but about 35 hours after eating my (tasty) salad heaped with raw pine nuts, I got the dreaded pine mouth. It blows because I literally can’t eat anything without gagging on the terrible taste that’s on the back of my tongue. It’s like there’s a dissolved tylenol in my mouth. When I eat, it’s omnipresent and strong. When I’m at rest, it’s always faintly in the background. It’s been only a day and I’m already crying at all the yummy food I can’t eat anymore. I know it lasts a week and I can’t wait until it’s over.

  34. I am suffering from it at the moment. I did not notice at the time of purchase, but looking at the packaging now, the sell-by date was in January! So its def off! I do not know where the pine nuts are from. What is interesting is, we were 6 friends and only 3 of us experienced pine moth!

  35. I’ve had it for about 4 days, it peaked on day two and has been getting gradually better but still definitely noticeable. I got the pine nuts at the grocery store, Fisher brand– a new line of “gourmet” toppers or something, but they were all I could find. Imported form China on the label. The worst part is I used them to make scads of pesto with my huge crop of basil that I have been growing all summer :( Now every time I open my fridge I get to see rows and rows of beautiful, jewel green pesto that I haven’t been able to bring myself to throw out.

  36. I know that there has been times that for a day or so after brushing my teeth with a particular tooth paste. I would get an effect just like what is being described with the pine nuts. A very interesting subject.

  37. I, too, have now joined the pine mouth crowd. I roast pine nuts and have them on salads a few times a week. Had some two nights ago (a new brand for me” and now have the metallic taste problem. Brand is “Good Sense” bought from Vons and label says “Pinenuts a product of Spain or China or Portugal”. Asked my wife tonight to never buy any food product from China again.

  38. I’m currently experiencing pine mouth for the second time. The first time was about six months ago. This time the taste disturbance began about three days after I ate the pine nuts. This is pretty similar to the timing of the first incident.

    I love pine nuts. I hate this. But I’m done with pine nuts.

  39. Pinus armandii (Chinese white pine) and Pinus massoniana (Chinese red pine) produce pine-nuts that are not suitable for human consumption. They are normally recognisable by virtue of being smaller and brown.

    A little bleach cures the brownness problem. Bon Appetit!

    I am in day three of pine mouth. It is still getting stronger… I ate about 20 nuts total, while making pesto to feed to all my friends and neighbors. They sure love me now…

    Toxic food. Brought to you by “deregulation” as the Demolicans and Repuglicrats like to call it (that’s where you make lots and lots of new regulations that favor multinational corporations and penalize home industry).

    Buy only large, white pine nuts reliably sourced from American growers.

  40. Similiar to just about everyone else I got it two days after eating pine nuts in a Spinach dish. The pine nuts were from Trader Joe’s and said they wee from Russia or Korea. I read this blog on my third day of pine mouth with everything tasting horrible. I read the 60+ postings and decided to try some of the home remedies on multiple sites. I brushed by teeth, tongue and mouth with baking soda, and then sucked on the sourest lemon drops I could find. Both of these took the taste away but did not prevent it from coming back.
    Then I had a Guinees with dinner and had home made Mexican tacos with green HOT Salsa. I could eat – it was the first meal in 3 days that was satisfying with no metallic taste. I have since had a Spicy Curry with a Guiness and Chili with Guiness. these spicy combinations with the heavy beer wins the taste bud battle. If I have a plain cracker the taste immediately comes back. I do not have a cure but do have a way to survive Pine Mouth – Spicy food with heavy beer – it works.
    I also called the FDA – first they acted as if I was wierd but by the end of the call they told me they had another similiar call earlier in the day. This was in Northern CA. I reccomend everyone call.

  41. Hi everyone,

    I am a food researcher who is looking into the source and mechanisms of the pine nut problem at Wageningen University (Netherlands). The information I have gathered from my initial literature review and from the detailed responses I have gotten from various blog and forum readers have been compiled on a new blog I have created to share and gather information from pine mouth sufferers. Do check it out here:

    I am still looking for more problem seeds and for pine mouth sufferers to fill in a detailed survey of all variables that might be related to understanding the causes and mechanisms of this syndrome. The survey link is on the blog, but here it is too:

    I would be very grateful if you would be willing to help with our research by filling in the survey or contacting me at if you have samples to send!

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

    With much gratitude,
    Grace Tan

  42. This is amazing. I too thought I was suffering from some ghastly disease when I had my morning cereal two days ago. I tried everything to remove the awful taste and finally started looking on-line for some answers. Pine Nuts! For Gods sake. They are so good and I’ve eaten them for years. I too bought mine at Trader Joes, looked on the bag and found they could be from Russia or Korea. I read that the bitter, awful taste may last from a few days to several weeks. Oh please Lord, make this be over soon!

  43. i was in paris last week. on our way back we stopped in the delta airlines club at jfk. my husband and i had a salad with pine nuts on it . we did not think anything of it. a few days ago< i cut up an apple for a friend. i thought it tasted like poison and my friend said it was delish. by friday night< i figured out that everything i ate tasted off. i went on the internet and have self-diagnosed myself with pine mouth . my mother has a deadly allergy to nuts and i itch when i eat walnuts. this is scary. when will this awful taste disappear? .

    1. It took 2 weeks for mine to disappear. Does anyone know if it is only pine nuts from China. I bought a bag from Sam’s Club that said on the label “China”…I love pine nuts but now I am reluctant to try them homegrown pinon.

  44. I have pine-mouth right now. Its the worst possible thing. All tasty food turns to super sour bitterness the moment it hits the back of your throat as you swallow. Came out of nowhere. One day I was munching on a yummy salad with a new ingredient – pine nuts – and decided to add more nuts to it the following day, was fine for 2.5 days until it struck suddenly. I guess it is a good form of dieting, only because the thought of eating is suddenly not so appetising as it induces sickly bitterness that churns your stomach. I hope it goes away, no matter what you eat it all tastes the same (bitter) and no matter what you do it remains. It only subsides when you’re not eating. I for one will be avoiding the pine nuts from now on. It just isnt worth not being able or feeling like eating for days on end. Im trying charcoal tablets as they absorb nasties in your system, so hopefully that may lessen its duration. Sceptics, you’ve been warned! Eat pine nuts at your own risk. I didnt even know there was such a thing before now. A few more days of this will be hell, but two weeks?? I really hope not.

  45. My sister had it a few months ago and I thought she was crazy since we have both been eating pine nuts for years. Last week, I used them again in salad and both hubby and I have pine mouth. We are going on day 4 and the bitterness is still not letting up. I guess I owe my sister an apology.

  46. My best friend and her husband are experiencing pine mouth at the moment. They found out what it is when searching the internet. That means it can’t simply be a hysteria thing. They didn’t even know something like this existed. They say it is vile. And eating and drinking makes it even worse. Gosh, I don’t envy them.
    I read it can take up to SIX weeks!

  47. i have pine mouth — i just found out by googling too– otherwise healthy– infact i was fine all day — just drank coffee– then i eat soup for lunch– now i have that awful taste– it really just started last night — and i think i had the pine nuts nearly 3 days ago… totally wackie!

  48. I am in Australia country NSW and ate pine nuts friday night with couscous & pine nut & spinach dip on Sat night. Sunday morning food & drink started being terrible – tried to over ride it by snacking. Ate pasta with rocket last night & wondered if Rocket was poisonous. Added chilli to the mix and was able to eat it. I googled to find out about strains of rocket and came across pine mouth. I have eaten pine nuts all my life as am allergic to almonds & white birch pollen. I have also collected local pine nuts from under trees in park and never experienced anything adverse. Any theories of mass hysteria or similar just dont match here as most of reports from sufferers are appreciative of good wine & food and would certainly never wish to partcipate in a conversion theory just to be part of an “unknown” ailment.I will participate in the October post survey link
    And will also research the red / white pine trees theory. Definately not

  49. I enjoy making Basil Pesto with homegrown Basil,usually with cashews as they are much cheaper than pinenuts here in New Zealand.
    However as a treat i make it with pinenuts maybe twice a year,they give the pesto a lovely creamy texture and taste fantastic.

    Last night and this morning i experienced the very unique symptoms of a horrid bitter taste that seemed to come from the roof of my mouth and seriously considered going to the doctor.

    But as i Googled “sour taste in roof of mouth/palate” while munching on a Pinenut Pesto slathered piece of toast this morning, i found an account of a doctor who experienced the same thing and discovered why…and tonight this page!
    There is no doubt in my mind as to the cause.

    Is it Chinese Pinenuts?……..their growing methods or preserving methods?…I’d love to know.


  50. I have been experiencing this bad taste for a couple of weeks. The curious thing is, I have never had pine nuts, but I have been snacking on almonds and pecans daily. I’m going to abstain from all nuts for a couple of weeks and see if I improve. I hope so.

  51. Yes! This metalic taste is driving me insane! My husband recently bought pine nuts and we have included them in our snack mix with Almonds and Craisens. I checked the bag and they are from China. I have never had this problem before but I have never eaten the quantity that I have been eating recently. The strange thing is that the strange metalic taste came on approx. 2 days after eating them, not right away. I’m glad I have discovered this “pine mouth” information! It’s not a coincidence when this many people have had the exact same symtoms from pinenuts! And the posts that I have read on here and other sites have a pattern of the pinenuts being from China!

  52. I m experiencing bitter taste in my mouth..its like a blanket of bitterness on back of my toungue..i had pine nuts…wat a nightmare…I bought them raw from central market HEB, houston, tx. I tried gargling with warm salt water..made me feel better for a while..the aftertaste came back next day. I heard about liquid aloe vera juice taking 2times a day..and dr prescribed activated charcoal helps and now after 5 days..i feel better..soon i hope i will b free of pine mouth..

  53. Never had anything like this before!!! OMG yuck yuck yuck yuck!!!! Bought raw pine nuts from Trader Joes a few days ago. Put a couple of tablespoons of them in a soup, and ate some raw. They smelled and tasted fine. Weren’t rancid, I’d notice that. But – next day – it started. Very, very bitter taste in mouth and nothing I ate tasted good at all. Just vile. These nuts were grown in Korea, Vietnam and Russia. Doesn’t say what variety though. I’ve had pine nuts before with no problem. I talked to someone at Trader Joe’s. He said (former nutritionalist) that older people tend to have more problems with them. Liver function. But I wonder. I’d like to see some studies comparing nuts from different pine tree types. I really, really hope this does go away in a few days. It is extremely unpleasant. To put it mildly.

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