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If when you eat pineapple you feel that your tongue and cheeks “burn”, you are not alone. The culprit is likely an enzyme complex called bromelain. Bromelain is a protease, a type of enzyme that breaks down proteins into their building blocks, known as amino acids.
“Currently, there is not much evidence about the palatability of bromelain, or how which enzyme tastes and feels in your mouth,” said Alessandro Colletti, a pharmacologist who studies bromelain at the University of Turin in Italy. “But it's possible that after you eat a lot of pineapple chunks, you'll start to feel the bromelain break down some of the mucilage proteins that make up the protective layer of mucous in your mouth.”