Why does eating pineapple make your mouth tingle?

A perfectly ripe pineapple can be a hassle to find and carve, but once you’re down to those golden rings, you’ve got a perfect summer companion. From piña coladas to pizza, the juicy hunks can be hard to quit – until the inside of your mouth begins to feel weirdly raw.

If one too many bites of pineapple leave you with a tingly tongue, burning cheeks or a desperate desire to scratch the inside of your mouth, you aren’t alone. The culprit is likely an enzyme complex called bromelain, according to a 2019 letter in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Bromelain is a protease – a type of enzyme that breaks down proteins into their building blocks, known as amino acids – that’s unique to pineapples, which is why pineapples are also excellent meat tenderizers.

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