What Fruits Have Bromelain


What Fruits Have Bromelain? The pineapple is the most important source of bromelain. Pineapple is also rich in vitamin C and has some important minerals and enzymes, including bromelain. This article examines what fruits have bromelain with some fruits containing high quantity of bromelain, you can be sure to enjoy a lot of health benefits with them. Here is a list of fruits that contain bromelain.

Fruit Bromelain

While the fruit bromelain, which is an acidic protein, is present in modest amounts in the fruit, the bromelain widely used as a food supplement is extracted from the pineapple stem.

Fruit Bromelain

Activity and Specificity

Fruit bromelain constitutes 30–40% of the total fruit protein and represents almost 90% of the proteolytically active material of the pineapple fruit. A convenient assay substrate is Bz-Phe-Val↓ArgNHMec, which is also hydrolyzed by pinguinain, but is scarcely affected by stem bromelain. Both enzymes require the presence of a reducing agent for full activity. Fruit bromelain has high proteolytic activity compared to stem bromelain, with broad pH optima for synthetic and protein substrates, although most assays are performed around neutral pH.


Distinguishing Features

Ananain has been shown to be immunologically distinct from both stem and fruit bromelains. It behaves similarly to papain in being efficiently inhibited by both chicken cystatin (Ki=1.1 nM) and E-64 (K2=3×105 M−1 s−1), which clearly distinguishes it from stem bromelain. Processing of proananain, a 39 kDa precursor, has been shown to have a requirement for pH 4.0 and occurs via intermediates. Ananain lacks a negative charge analogous to Asp158 in papain, and has been proposed to have a different catalytic mechanism to other plant cysteine endopeptidases.



Bromelain belongs to a group of protein-digesting enzymes that attack the internal peptide bonds of the protein chain. While the fruit bromelain, which is an acidic protein, is present in modest amounts in the fruit, the bromelain widely used as a food supplement is extracted from the pineapple stem. It is a mixture of different thiol endopeptidases and other components such as phosphatase, glucosidase, peroxidase, cellulase, escharase, and several protease inhibitors. Bromelain is readily absorbed by the body in the gastrointestinal tract and remains functionally intact.

Bromelain enhances the absorption of drugs, particularly antibiotics. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that bromelain exhibits various fibrinolytic, antiedematous, and antithrombotic activities. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to prevent postsurgical inflammation and trauma.

It is used in the treatment of arthritic patients, for pain relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis and joint injury. It is able to dissolve mucus and is used in the treatment of bronchitis and sinusitis. Bromelain supplement is used to reduce the incidence of various cardiovascular disorders as it is an inhibitor of blood platelet aggregation. It prevents the coagulation of blood and is used to combat thrombophlebitis and to minimize the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attack.

It is effective in curing burn wounds where the formation of layers of burned and traumatized tissue if not removed will serve as an infection site and a medium for growth of bacteria. In such instances, bromelain is administered to remove the dead and infected tissue and bring about effective healing of the wounds.

Bromelain also possesses some anticancerous activities and is known to prevent the growth of certain types of tumors as it promotes apoptotic cell death.

Enzymes in the Meat Industry


The pineapple (Ananas comosus) has been found to have an enzyme, bromelain, which contains cysteine proteases obtained from the stem (EC, 24.5 kDa) as well as fruit (EC, 25 kDa). Out of the two sources, the fruit bromelain is said to have higher proteolytic activity and a greater specificity in comparison to stem bromelain (Barrett et al., 2004; Grzonka et al., 2007). The enzymatic activity scale is slightly smaller than that of papain and reveals an elaborate proteolytic activity on synthetic peptides at pH levels of 5.0–7.0 and a temperature of 50°C (Napper et al., 1994; Rowan et al., 1990), although a wider range (optimum at pH 6–8.5 and a temperature range of 50–60°C) has been reported by Grzonka et al. (2007). Pure bromelain is stable when stored at − 20°C (Rowan et al., 1988) and the most effective compound to activate the enzyme is cysteine (Murachi et al., 1964). Bromelain first attacks and degrades around 40% of the collagen present in the sarcolemma, then the degradation of myosin is followed in the myofibrillar region (Kang and Rice, 1970;Wang et al., 1958). This enzyme has a low, but significant, activity at 0°C which dramatically increases at 50°C to 70°C and is unaffected up to 80°C (El-Gharbawi and Whitaker, 1963; Tappel et al., 1956).

Stem Bromelain

Name and History

All the endopeptidases of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus) have generally been referred to as ‘the bromelains’, and indeed, the name ‘bromelain’ was originally applied to any protease from any member of the family Bromeliaceae  following this definition, the names ‘stem bromelain’ and ‘fruit bromelain’ have been used to describe the major activities in the juice of pineapple stem and fruit, respectively. These enzymes were originally assigned separate systematic numbers (EC and EC IUBMB, then lumped together under EC, and separated again in 1992. Commercially available dried powder prepared from waste pineapple stem material is widely used in industry under the name ‘bromelain’, and this has further contributed to the muddled nomenclature. There have been contradictory reports describing up to six different proteolytic components in the stem (reviewed by Murachi, and Rowan & Buttle . This has been clarified [5], and the major endopeptidase present in extracts of plant stem is to be termed stem bromelain, whilst fruit bromelain is the major endopeptidase in the fruit (Chapter 425). Additional minor cysteine endopeptidases (ananain and comosain) have also been detected in the stem [5,6] (Chapters 426 and 427Chapter 426Chapter 427).

Pineapple (Ananas comosus)

Bromelain From Pineapple

The chief medicinal component of pineapple is bromelain which was identified in the late 19th century. Its therapeutic potency was revealed in 1957 when for the first time it was found that pineapple was one of its major sources. Bromelain is a protein extract which can refer to either the two digestive enzymes called proteolytic enzymes present in it, or can refer to the combination of all enzymes and other ingredients in it. It can be found both in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant and therefore is named accordingly as fruit bromelain and stem bromelain, respectively. The enzymatic composition of both types of bromelain also varies. Pineapple fruit is widely used as food source, therefore the major extraction source for bromelain is the stem of the pineapple plant, which is the cheaper source since it is the nonedible part of the plant (Heinicke and Gortner, 1957).

Although possessing much potential as a medicinal agent, bromelain has only been approved, in the form of the drug “NexoBrid,” for topical use in 2012 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA, 2012) for removing dead cells from the skin surface. Apart from this, no other established uses have been approved by the official agencies. Here we discuss the wide scope and potential biological activities of bromelain observed in different research studies (EMA 2012; Pavan et al. 2012).

According to biochemical studies, crude bromelain is composed of two proteolytic enzymes containing sulfhydryl proteases (proteases containing a thiol group). These enzymes possess a common cysteine amino acid residue in their catalytic site and possess a common mechanism where the cysteine moiety acts as a nucleophile and attacks electrophiles on the substrate. Apart from the proteases they contain glucosidase, phosphatases, cellulase, peroxidase, carbohydrates, and glycoproteins. As mentioned earlier,

Plant extracts as enzymes


Bromelain belongs to the family of sulfhydryl proteolytic enzymes and mainly obtained from the pineapples. Bromelain is a mixture of enzyme that has been used for the digestion of proteins. It has been mainly extracted from the pineapple, some fruits and stem as well. The one extracted from the fruits has known as fruit Bromelain and from the stem has known as stem Bromelain. It has been consisting of 212 amino acids and has molecular weight of 33 kDa (Babu, Rastogi, & Raghavarao, 2008). During protein breakage, it has remained stable at temperature range of 40°C–60°C in 3–7 pH range (Mohapatra, Rao, & Ranjan, 2013; Srujana & Narayana, 2017). This enzyme showed the maximum activity at 50°C and pH 7 at simple extraction and higher proteolytic activity at 60°C and pH 8 (Martins et al., 2014). Similar to papain, Bromelain also played major role in pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics and other industries. Bromelain has also been used for the tenderization of meat, solubilization of grain proteins, clarification of beer and cookies baking. In fresh apple juices, Bromelain has acted as a enzymatic browning inhibitor (Mohan, Sivakumar, Rangasamy, & Muralidharan, 2016).

You Should Be Eating Digestive Enzymes—Here Are 9 Foods High in Them

Help your body break down meals like a pro by adding these foods to your repertoire.

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These days, it seems like digestive drama has become the status quo—but it doesn’t have to be. Besides steering clear of foods that cause you distress and relieving discomfort with over-the-counter meds, you can also give your body a leg up in the digestion department by eating more foods that contain natural digestive enzymes.

“Digestive enzymes naturally occur in the body to help break down what we eat so that important nutrients get to all the right places for proper utilization,” says NYC-based registered dietitian Brittany Linn, RD. However, if the body doesn’t make enough of certain enzymes (say, the enzymes necessary to break down the lactose in dairy products), this can slow the digestion process and lead to GI symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

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Fortunately, there are many foods that contain these important enzymes, the majority of which are best consumed raw to maximize the digestive benefits. “Many enzymes are very fragile and can be easily disrupted with chemical, pH, or temperature changes,” says Linn.

Below are nine foods that can help give your digestion a boost—plus, how to seamlessly add them to your diet:

1. Pineapple

Banana-Pineapple-Kale Smoothie

“Pineapples contain bromelain, a mixture of enzymes that help to digest protein,” says Connecticut-based registered dietitian Alyssa Lavy, RD. Since bromelain, like other digestive enzymes, are sensitive to heat, upping your raw pineapple quota is the best way to maximize your intake. Try blending pineapple into your smoothies, adding pineapple chunks to your salads, or using pineapple as a meat tenderizer.

2. Avocados

Avocado, Black Bean, and Charred Tomato Bowl

If high-fat meals tend to give you trouble, consider avocados your new partner-in-crime. They contain lipase, an enzyme necessary for the metabolism and digestion of fat, says Kansas-based dietitian Cheryl Mussatto, RD, author of The Nourished Brain. Bonus: Avocados are super easy to incorporate into your diet—add to your morning smoothie, top your desk salad with avocado cubes, enjoy some guac, or bust out your favorite avocado toast recipes.

3. Bananas

Best known as a go-to potassium source, bananas are also a source of enzymes like amylase and maltase, says Mussatto. Amylase helps to break down complex carbs, like those found in bread and cereals, while maltase helps to break down the malt sugar found in carbohydrate foods, like starchy grains and veggies. Top your cereal or oatmeal with bananas, blend one into a smoothie, or eat one straight-up the next time you’re in the mood for a snack.

4. Mangos

Like bananas, mangos also contain amylase, making it easier for your body to break down starches into smaller carb molecules and absorb them. Mussatto recommends sliced or chunked mango as a refreshing snack on its own or as a green salad topper for a healthy—and delish—splash of color.

5. Papaya

The enzymes found in papaya are called papain, which help to break down protein, says Lavy. Heat can damage papain, so make sure to consume papaya raw for maximum digestive perks—for example, papaya wedges as a breakfast side, or cubed and added to salads and smoothies

6. Raw Honey

Among others, honey contains digestive enzymes called diastases, invertases, and proteases. These help to break down starches, sugars, and proteins, respectively. “Eating honey in raw form allows your body to yield all of the digestive benefits,” says Linn. “If you buy processed honey, it’s often heated during treatment, which can destroy the beneficial enzymes.” Drizzle it on toast, mix it into yogurt, or use it to sweeten your oatmeal.

7. Kefir

“Kefir is basically fermented milk with added yeast cultures, lactic acid bacteria, and acetic acid bacteria,” says Linn. It contains the digestive enzymes lipase (which breaks down fat), lactase (breaks down lactose), and proteases (protein). You can drink it straight up, add it to overnight oats, or blend it into your next smoothie bowl.

8. Sauerkraut

Thanks to the fermentation process, sauerkraut is an excellent source of various digestive enzymes that can help your body break down proteins, fats, and starches. If going with store-bought, buy sauerkraut made with water and salt, not vinegar, says Mussatto. (This means that the sauerkraut was fermented and not pickled, leaving the digestion-friendly enzymes in tact.) Eat on its own, or as a side to any meal.

9. Ginger

Chicken Thighs with Ginger-Sesame Glaze

Not only does ginger contain an enzyme called zingibain that helps the body digest protein, it may also help to increase digestive enzyme production in the body, says Linn. This is on top of the role it already plays in nausea relief. Enjoy ginger in tea form, add it to your next stir fry, or grate some into citrusy drinks for that extra zing.

7 Bromelain Benefits, Uses & Best Food Sources

Bromelain - Dr. Axe

With its sharp leaves and thick skin, the pineapple can be as intimidating as a porcupine. Yet, this fruit is equally intoxicating because of its juicy, sweet golden flesh — not to mention its secret weapon: bromelain.

What most people don’t realize about pineapples, however, is that they’re infinitely more useful to humans than just as a garnish for tropical drinks. Due to powerful enzymes that the pineapple contains —especially the protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain — this delicious fruit is also literally medicine!

What Is Bromelain?

Pineapple, a South American native and a cherished part of Hawaiian folk medicine, is one of the richest sources in the world of the enzyme bromelain. It is composed of several endopeptidases and compounds like phosphatase, glucosidase, peroxidase, cellulase, escharase and protease inhibitors. Usually “bromelain” sold in extract or supplement form refers to enzymes extracted from pineapple stems or cores, rather than from the fruit’s flesh.

Used widely as a natural remedy to treat everything from indigestion to allergies, pineapple is not only brimming with this enzyme, but also vitamin C, vitamin B1, potassium, manganese and phytonutrients. While pineapple has many benefits, the real secret to its healing powers is definitely bromelain.

What is bromelain used to treat? In the medical world, this fascinating compound has traditionally been used as a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling agent. Research have also shown that it has fibrinolytic, antiedematous and antithrombotic properties, meaning it helps prevent blood clots, edema and swelling.

In the past, this enzyme was also used as a meat tenderizer, reason being it helps to soothe and relax tense, inflamed muscles and connective tissue. Additionally, recent studies have found evidence that this enzyme stops lung metastasis in its tracks, which suggests that bromelain can be used to treat a wide variety of diseases, potentially including cancer.

A look at the scientific literature, which includes 1,600-plus articles evaluating the medicinal benefits of bromelain, shows that it has been used to treat a wide range of health problems, including:

  • Connective tissue injuries, such as ACL tears
  • Sprained ankles
  • Tendonitis
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis, joint pain and osteoarthritis
  • Digestive issues like heartburn or diarrhea
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Sinus infections, such as bronchitis and sinusitis
  • Surgical trauma and slow healing of skin wounds or burns
  • Poor absorption of drugs, especially antibiotics, and symptoms due to taking medications

Benefits and Uses

1. May Help Prevent Cancer

In studies, bromelain has been found to have natural anti-cancer effects, including promoting apoptotic cell death and preventing tumor growth. It’s been shown in animal studies that it can induce the production of distinct cytokines, that it has antimetastatic efficacy and that it inhibits metastasis by reducing platelet aggregation.

Studies have linked bromelain to increased protection against breast and lung cancer, and recently the journal Anticancer Drugs published results from a clinical trial that suggested it affects malignant peritoneal mesothelioma — a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. According to the study, it was uncovered that “The addition of bromelain increased the die off of cancer cells (cytotoxicity) significantly… Bromelain has the potential of being developed as a therapeutic agent in treating malignant cancer.”

2. Helps Treat Digestive Disorders

Why is bromelain good for you if you suffer from indigestion or a gastrointestinal disorder? Because it’s an enzyme that specifically helps with digesting proteins and has been found to help your body absorb nutrients and even medications more efficiently. Studies suggest that it decreases colonic inflammation and reduces secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines that damage the gut lining. Because it’s very effective at healing tissues within the gastrointestinal tract, bromelain is beneficial for people with any of the following GI problems:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Dyspepsia, or peptic ulcers due to heliobactor pylori infections
  • Colon cancer
  • Constipation
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea

Bromelain - Dr. Axe

3. Supports Faster Recovery from Surgery and Injuries

Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great natural alternative to taking pain-killing medications, such as aspirin. One study that evaluated bromelain’s ability to treat patients who had impacted third molars extracted found that it supported wound healing and helped decrease pain and swelling following the patients’ operations.

Most patients who undergo this surgery experience significant post-operative symptoms, and unfortunately, antibiotics and painkillers are not always effective at preventing infections or other discomfort during the healing process. Of the 80 people who participated in the study, those who were prescribed bromelain reported “significantly lower” post-operation pain, swelling and even redness compared to the control group prescribed a generic painkiller.

4. Fights Allergies and Asthma

The journal Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine highlighted the results of a study that investigated how bromelain affected mice suffering from asthma. The study produced some interesting results — for example, that bromelain reduces allergic sensitization and stops development of other inflammatory responses affecting the airways.

These findings suggests that this enzyme helps modulate the entire immune system. It can actually help prevent allergies by addressing the root cause — a hyperactive, oversensitive immune system. It was observed in the study that CD11c (+) dendritic cells and DC44 antigen-presenting cells were kept at bay when supplementing with bromelain, a sign that this enzyme is capable of targeting the underlying cause of asthma and allergies. This is why it helps most people suffering from symptoms like a stuffy/runny nose, itchy eyes, swollen lymph nodes, congestion and trouble breathing.

5. Helps Prevent or Treat Sinus Infections (Rhinosinusitis)

To see whether or not a daily dose of bromelain (300 FIP units, 600-milligram tablets) could help people suffering from chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany took 12 patients who had already had sinus surgery and treated them with bromelain for three months. They discovered the following bromelain benefits: Total symptom scores improved, total rhinoscopy scores improved, overall quality of life was enhanced and there were no adverse effects reported.

Because surgery can oftentimes be ineffective at treating sinusitis, this research brings a lot of hope to people suffering from chronic sinus problems.

6. Helps Decrease Joint Pain

Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic characteristics, bromelain is fantastic for reducing acute or chronic joint pain. The journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published a research trial that evaluated 42 osteoarthritis patients with degenerative spine or painful joint conditions.

Two 650-milligram capsules of bromelain were given to the patients two to three times each day on an empty stomach (depending on whether they had acute or chronic pain). Researchers discovered that pain decreased up to 60 percent in participants dealing with acute pain and more than 50 percent in those with chronic disorders. The researchers’ conclusion was that “Bromelain has been demonstrated to show anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and may provide a safer alternative or adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis.”

7. May Support Weight Loss

Does research suggest there’s any link between bromelain and weight loss? Its effects on weight management and fat cells are still under investigation, but there’s reason to believe that it may help with weight loss due to its anti-inflammatory effects, ability to reduce pain, and capability of improving physical abilities and digestion.

According to a 2017 article published in PLOS One, “stem bromelain (SBM) is used as an anti-obesity alternative medicine.” Some studies have found that bromelain helps downregulate adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein, fatty acid synthase and lipoprotein lipase. It may also inhibit adipogenesis (cell differentiation that can contribute to formation of fat cells) and reduce triglyceride accumulation.

Foods Containing Bromelain


Bromelain is a combination of enzymes, called proteolytic enzymes, that help your body absorb and assimilate proteins from foods, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Although bromelain is most commonly available as a dietary supplement in the United States and other countries in the Western world, it is a plant-based substance.


Bromelain is only available in natural form from the pineapple, a fruit that is native to Central America and South America, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Both the stem and the juice from the pineapple’s flesh contain bromelain.


Alternative medicine practitioners recommend bromelain for the healing of soft tissue wounds, according to the American Cancer Society. This enzyme compound may help reduce the inflammation of muscle and soft tissues. The anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain may also help relieve pain and stiffness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Bromelain may also help ease digestive distress and fight infections. Some manufacturers of bromelain supplements also claim that this substance may help shrink cancerous tumors and aid in weight loss; however, evidence is currently insufficient to support those claims.


Bromelain may cause mild side effects such as diarrhea, increased menstrual bleeding, vomiting and nausea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you are allergic to pineapple, bromelain may also cause skin rashes or breathing problems. This substance may also interact with several medications and chemicals. You should not consume bromelain if you take anticoagulants, such as warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel. Bromelain also amplifies the effects of sedatives, such as alcohol, tricyclic antidepressants, barbiturates, sleep aids and benzodiazepines.

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