Does pineapple eat you back?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Does pineapple eat you back?” We will also discuss what exactly happens when you eat pineapple, the parts of pineapple that contains bromelain, and how we can reduce the effects of bromelain. Moreover, we will also talk about the other fruits that eat you back.

Does pineapple eat you back?

Yes, pineapples eat you back. Here, “eating you back” basically means destroying the flesh in your mouth. This is because pineapple contains bromelain, a chemical that acts like a mouth-eater. It contains a variety of enzymes that break down components such as cellulose and proteins in your mouth. These protein-breaking enzymes or proteases are capable of eating you back.

Since both the saliva that lubricates your teeth, tongue, and cheeks and the flesh of your mouth are composed of proteins, when you eat pineapple, the bromelain is chewing away that flesh from your mouth. Bromelain also degrades those proteins exposing your lips to the acidic fluids of pineapple, making it even more unpleasant. 

The only good thing is this mouth-eating procedure doesn’t last for a very long time. It stops when you swallow the pineapple into your stomach where the stomach acid breaks the enzyme down and reduces its activity.

What exactly happens when you eat pineapple?

Every time you eat a pineapple, it consumes a small portion of your flesh. Proteins are the building blocks of life that hold all of your functioning cells together. Destruction of the proteins means loss and or disruption of protein function, which in turn compromises cell function and may potentially result in cell death. Cells will ultimately be harmed by an enzyme that can degrade protein.

When you consume a pineapple, you get the stinging, tingling discomfort on your tongue, which is caused by bromelain and the acid present in the pineapple which basically digests your tongue. Bromelain is physically capable of destroying your cells by eating away your flesh. 

Thankfully the tissues in our mouth heal faster than other parts of the body so this is not something to be alarmed about. Our saliva also contributes to the painkilling effects in our mouths.

What part of pineapple contains bromelain?

Bromelain is not just present in the fruity parts of pineapple but it can also be found in pineapple stems, which have even higher protein-digesting power than the fruit. Both these types of bromelain digest protein have slightly different structures. 

Proteins’ functionality or ability to perform particular functions varies when they have different structures. This is why the bromelain in the pineapple stem digests proteins better than the bromelain present in the fruity parts. This means pineapple stems are capable of eating you much more than fruits. It’s a relief that pineapple stems are not used for consumption.

How can we reduce the effects of bromelain?

Since most of the bromelain content in pineapples comes from the stem, cutting off the stems from the pineapple can reduce this effect to some extent. Soaking the peeled pineapple in salt water is also said to reduce some of that chemical. 

You can also use this chemical to your advantage instead. Try eating some pineapples when you want the spice gone from your mouth. It will easily wash away all the spicy sensations from your mouth. Similarly, you can also consider utilizing leftover pineapple pulp to make anti-plaque toothpaste.

What other fruits can eat you back?

Although pineapple is the only food that contains the chemical bromelain, kiwi also eats you back. The pineapple isn’t the only fruit that aids digestion. Kiwifruit is another fruit that is capable of digesting your protein enzymes. Kiwi fruits sting your tongue when you eat them because they contain a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin.

However, not every proteolytic enzyme stings your tongue. There’s also papaya, a fruit with papain that doesn’t sting your tongue. This has to do with the fact that papayas are not as acidic as pineapple or kiwi. Ficin is also a proteolytic enzyme found in figs, but it doesn’t have similar effects as pineapple or kiwi.

This only makes it clear that papayas do not burn your tongue because, unlike pineapples and kiwis, they are not acidic. The acid and proteolytic enzyme seem to work together to burn your tongue.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Does pineapple eat you back?” We have also discussed what exactly happens when you eat pineapple, the parts of pineapple that contain bromelain, and how we can reduce the effects of bromelain. Moreover, we have also talked about the other fruits that eat you back.


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