Professor Jonathan Hourihane has rubbished newspaper reports that linked children eating exotic fruit with a rise in allergies.

He said the fact that more allergies to exotic fruit were emerging was simply a reflection of the growing place that exotic fruit has in the nation's diet.

Hourihane said: "Foods such as kiwi have become common, and we are seeing allergic reactions to them. But they are not the reason for the allergy epidemic we are experiencing."