A young girl and her father eating pineapple at the breakfast table.

A young girl and her father eating pineapple at the breakfast table. (Image credit: Digital Vision via Getty Images)

A perfectly ripe pineapple can be difficult to find and carve, but once you get to those golden rings, you have a perfect summer companion. It can be hard to stop eating pizza until the inside of your mouth begins to feel raw.

If you eat too many bites of pineapple, you will end up with a tingly tongue, burning cheeks, or a desire to scratch the inside of your mouth. According to a letter in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the culprit is an enzyme complex called bromelain. Pineapples are unique in that they have a type of protease called bromelain that breaks down their building blocks, which is why they are excellent meat tenderizers.

There isn't a lot of evidence about how bromelain tastes or feels in your mouth at the moment. It is possible that after eating a few pieces of pineapple, the bromelain will break down some of the mucin proteins that make up the protective mucosal layer in your mouth.

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Is it possible that eating too much pineapple will hurt you? It is doubtful, according to Colletti. He said that bromelain is an effective defense against pests that would damage the pineapple plant. For instance, bromelain oral gel, which has a concentration 200 to 400 times greater than fresh pineapple, can be applied directly to the mouth because of its anti- inflammatory properties.

According to reports by Bon App, your mouth begins to replace any cells damaged by bromelain to prevent any permanent damage or change by the pineapple's proteases.

Papaya and other tropical fruits have similar proteases, but don't leave a raw feeling in the mouth. Paul Takhistov, an associate professor of food engineering at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, told Self that pineapple's weird effect may be due to its acidic nature. According to Healthline, pineapples fall between 3 and 4 on the pH scale. According to Takhistov, bromelain makes your mouth more sensitive to pineapple's acidity. He said that the acidity and the enzyme make your mouth sore. The acidic flavor of bromelain might add to the experience.

A man in Mexico tells a chef to soak the pineapple in saltwater in an episode of the show. There is not much scientific evidence to support this. The pineapple can be heat-treated in some other way if you want to.

Taking a supplement is the best way to get the benefits of bromelain. You can get higher concentrations of bromelain without the sugar.

It was originally published on Live Science.