SCIENTIFIC NAME: Blighia sapida
COMMON NAME(S): Ackee, Akee
FRUITS: Leathery skinned about 3-4" long. At maturity, capsule wall dries and opens partially at the apex.
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Aril with hypoglycin A, only a slight amount in the ripe aril. Seeds with hypoglycin A and hypoglycin B (polypeptides). Rind of fruit with a saponin. Other parts unknown. Toxic peptides.
COMMENTS: The ripe, fresh aril is sometimes eaten in Jamaica and elsewhere by children. Thousands of deaths have resulted because of its highly variable toxicity, improper preparation and selection of the fruit. Known as "vomiting sickness", victims experience severe vomiting and nausea hours after ingestion of a variable length, then a quiescent period of apparent recovery with drowsiness and sleep. Three to four hours later, intense vomiting which may soon be followed by convulsions, coma and death in a majority of instances. The rind of the fruit is used as a fish poison.