Mouth itchy when pineapple is consumed? Trust us, you're not allergic

21 June 2019

Pineapples taste a-m-a-z-i-n-g when ripen. They are exceptionally juicy and has a vibrant tropical flavour that balances both sweet and tart. It’s easy to go overboard with them but pineapple lovers will know how dangerous it is to have too much of a good thing.

Your mouth starts to itch, to burn and sometimes even bleed. Some people take this phenomenon as them being allergic to pineapples while others thought it could be the acid that is tearing up their mouth.

All these assumptions are WRONG. Acid may contribute to discomfort but it does not reach to the extent of destroying your mouth. The real culprit, on the other hand, is Bromalain. An enzyme that digests protein and Pineapple is the only known food that contains it.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of your love affair with the tropical fruit and we’re not telling you to avoid them. There are ways to nullify the burning sensation if you’re planning to eat a basket of them. And the method is through heating them, which was what we learnt at Dr Lee Yee Ying’s pineapple enzyme workshop at Kuen Cheng High School on 21 June 2019.

“Heat denatures enzymes and that is how you stop the Bromalain from being active,” she says. But be aware that the temperature must be above 68 degree celcius or higher, anything below that won’t work. Same theory applies to making pineapple jams or jellies, heat things up and they’ll solidify.