After buying fresh pineapple and eating it as an evening snack the past few nights, my mouth became irritated. I hate it because I love fresh pineapple. But last night – the third day in a row eating it – it became too uncomfortable to eat more than a piece. And after a little research, I found out why:
Pineapples contain an plant protease enzyme called bromelain. Because it readily breaks down protein, bromelain is frequently used as a natural meat tenderizer. Bromelain may also induce a prickly sensation in the mouth when consumed.
Although the enzyme is present in all parts of the pineapple plant, it’s most concentrated in the stem, the hard piece in the middle of the fruit, which is much more fibrous and chewy but still edible. Many people believe that letting a pineapple sit overnight helps take away the irritation factor, but one surefire way to alleviate the burn is to cut out the core.