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A protein-splitting enzyme present in pineapple and papaya. It's traditionally used in the Caribbean and Pacific regions as a meat tenderiser. Its presence makes both these fruits good digestive aids. Supplements are available in health food shops.

The enzyme is so strong in the pineapple, that plantation and cannery workers have to wear protective gloves to stop their hands being damaged.

The chemical is destroyed when cooked. See 'Alternative Medicine'

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