Pineapple Bromelain
Pineapple Bromelain

Bromelain: Powerful proteolytic enzyme

The endopeptidase with the potential to deliver value and quality to many industries and applications. Is bromelain working for you?

Published 01 May 2023
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Bromelain is a natural enzyme extracted from the stems and fruit of pineapple plants (Ananas comosus). Bromelain has a unique combination of proteolytic enzyme activities making it suitable for efficient protein degradation useful in a wide number of applications, including food processing, beverage production, pharmaceutical and cosmetics.

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Bromelain: Workhorse enzyme for a wide range of industries and applications

Commercial Food Applications for Bromelain

  • Baking - bromelain can be used for dough relaxation. Hydrolysis of gluten in wheat flour to improve the dough, leads to an evenly risen dough and a reduced allergenicity of baking products from the degradation of gluten.
  • Beer clarification - the presence of protein in beer is one of the main components that results in turbidity in beverages. Bromelain can be used to break down these proteins to prevent cold turbidity, improving the stability of beer in addition to extending its shelf life.
  • Meat Tenderisation - collagen, the connective tissue in meat, is what gives meat is structure and toughness. Bromelain targets this collagen breaking it down softening the muscle fibres in the meat.
  • Dairy Protein Hydrolysates - cow's milk proteins; alpha-lactalbumin (aLA) and beta-lactoglobulin (bLG) are recognised as allergens for humans. To reduce the allergenicity of cow's milk for use in a variety of different food ingredients such as sports nutritional food and beverages, clinical nutrition and foods for special medical purposes (FFSMP), enzymes such as bromelain can be used to hydrolyse these proteins to reduce the peptide size and reduce its allergenicity.
  • Dietary Supplements - the effective digestion of protein makes bromelain suitable for use as a dietary supplement to aid the digestion of proteins.

Bromelain’s use in a diverse range of applications increases its demand from many industries to add value to end products and improve process efficiencies. As a plant-derived protease, bromelain supply can often be impacted by surges in demand from industry, as well as environmental, food chain and climate-related events that can lead to market shortages of pineapple, and in turn bromelain.

Bromelain is a cysteine protease that targets the peptide bond inside the protein molecule where they have a cysteine amino acid. This hydrolysis breaks down the larger protein molecules, by breaking the peptide bonds, into smaller parts through the combination with water. Reducing the size of proteins through digestion, delivers many functional and sensorial benefits when applied to different applications.

As with enzymes extracted naturally, either plant- or animal-derived, there is often a unique combination of enzymatic activities which characterise the enzyme; it's function, specificity and suitability in different industrial applications. Bromelain preparations are a mixture of enzymes derived from pineapple with distinctive sulfhydryl proteolytic activities that cannot easily be matched by microbial or recombinant enzymes.

Biocatalysts Ltd have considerable experience and understanding in supplying bromelain for the digestion of dairy, animal and plant-derived proteins to improve their functionality for different food ingredients. For more information on how bromelain, in addition to Biocatalysts Ltd.'s other range of protease enzymes can be used to improve functionality of, and add value to whey and casein protein hydrolysates, read our technical bulletin below:

Biocatalysts Ltd are a supplier of food grade bromelain enzymes, click below for more information or to request a sample of our bromelain products:

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