Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme isolated from pineapple and similar to papain. However, the term Bromelina refers to two different proteolytic enzymes identified in the Ananas (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.), From which the name derives.
It is an enzyme used in medicine in post-traumatic edema, in phlebitis, in inflammatory states in general and also to soften meat and to produce protein hydrolysates, as well as in the treatment of ulcers and burns.
Bromelain was extracted for the first time from the fruit of the pineapple but, subsequently, a second form was identified (Bromelain of the stipe), now widely used in the herbal field.
Industrial Bromelain extraction is done by the stem for two reasons; both because it is more concentrated than the fruit, and because obviously the use of the fruit by the food industry makes it increase the cost.
Bromelain is attributed proteolytic, anti-inflammatory properties of soft, analgesic, antiedematous and fibrinolytic tissues.
This proteolytic enzyme also has mucolytic, immunomodulatory and gastroprotective activity and seems able to relax smooth muscle. Furthermore, Bromelina, being able to drain liquids, is marketed in slimming products.
Thanks to its proteolytic activity, Bromelain is also used in the food industry in order to soften canned meat.
Other natural activities of Bromelain include an antithrombotic action, a hypotensive activity and the ability to solubilize the arteriosclerotic plaques. Its synergistic ability in antibiotic and antitumor therapies is also known.
Bromelain is contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic dysfunctions, and close monitoring of hemophiliac patients or otherwise subject to blood clotting disorders is also required.
Bromelain is thermolabile so that poor storage can reduce its pharmacological activity.