U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Food
  3. Chemical Contaminants & Pesticides
  4. Natural Toxins in Food
  5. Hypoglycin A and Ackee Fruit
  1. Natural Toxins in Food

Hypoglycin A and Ackee Fruit

Ackee Fruit

Hypoglycin A is a heat stable toxin that occurs in ackee fruit, a tropical fruit used in Caribbean cuisine. Although native to West Africa, ackee fruit is found in south Florida, Central and South America, and many Caribbean countries.

The edible part of a fully ripe, properly processed ackee fruit is safe to eat. Unripe fruit, and the rind and seeds of ripe fruit, are never safe to eat because they can contain dangerous amounts of hypoglycin A.

People who eat unsafe levels of hypoglycin A may have no symptoms or mild symptoms, such as vomiting. However, others can have severe reactions, such as vomiting with profound hypoglycemia, drowsiness, muscular exhaustion, prostration, and possibly coma and death.

Back to Top