The Secret To Avoiding Pineapple Mouth-Burn

Few things are as refreshing as a juicy chunk of pineapple on a humid summer's day, and if you frequently enjoy this tropical fruit, you know there's that one problem with it. Whenever you settle in to devour a few slices of this beloved green-headed fruit, your mouth transforms into a fiery hot inferno. It's a very confusing experience, really. You thoroughly appreciate the pineapple's sweetness, but the searing pain sucks much of the joy out of the experience. Why, oh why, is that pineapple trying to destroy your mouth?

It turns out that the very design of this seemingly innocuous piece of produce is the problem. It likely doesn't want to turn your mouth into a pulpy mass of soreness, but it simply can't help itself. According to Dole, unprocessed pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that quickly sets to work digesting proteins. How Stuff Works goes a little further, explaining that this substance is frequently used as a "meat tenderizer." Since your tongue and other fleshy mouth parts are technically "meat," it's trying to digest and soften them up. Isn't that a pretty picture? Thankfully, there are ways to avoid pineapple-induced mouth burn and keep your tender flesh perfectly intact. 

Canned pineapple is a burn-free option

The easiest way to avoid burning your mouth while eating pineapple is to opt for the canned variety. After all, no one knows this fruit better than Dole and they say that "tinned pineapple is definitely 'tongue-friendly.'" If you're determined to eat fresh pineapple, Spoon University shares with pineapple lovers that when food is heated, any enzymes present are broken down, rendering them harmless. Perhaps, you'll want to try a pork and pineapple slow-cooked sandwich or a serving of pineapple tarts. Additionally, Bon Appétit offers that pairing your pineapple with a dairy-laden item will help dramatically. It will provide the bromelain with a protein to concentrate on digesting rather than your flesh, and it will offset the fruit's acidity. 

It's important to note, however, that bromelain is beneficial to humans in many ways. According to Men's Health, it has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes regularity — and pineapple is the only food that contains bromelain. When you consider that your body will quickly replace the cells that are injured, the discomfort caused by bromelain may actually be worth it. That's for you to decide and it will likely depend on just how severe your pain is. 

Now that you're armed with a bevy of bromelain-battling weapons, you are now equipped to devour as much scrumptious pineapple as you like. Yes, no simple piece of produce is going to show you who's boss.