Why doesn’t Japanese pineapple hurt the mouth, unlike what I eat in the US


Eating uncooked pineapple in the USA always bleeds my lips and tongue.

In past two weeks in Japan, I have bought fresh raw pineapple, and eat one, daily. Each pineapple is pricier, as with most Japanese fruits, than pineapples sold in USA. But in these two weeks, no bleeding in my oral cavity! Why?

Staff at different fruit parlors advised that Japanese pineapples are a different strain, bred against bromelain. Is this correct?

Best Answer

Today I learned about 15 different varieties of edible pineapple, so you definitely ate a different variety in Japan than you're used back home.

There are two components in pineapples that will cause damage to the cells in your mouth:

  • acidity
  • bromelain (which is an enzyme commonly used as meat tenderizer)

Different varieties will have different levels of acidity and/or bromelain, so you possibly found one that is low on either / both.

It seems (thanks user @Lescurel) that there's a GMO pineapple strain called "Pinkglow" that contains a "Bromelain inhibitor gene promoter" - not sure that's what you had but it definitely exists.