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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