Food Immune Reactivity Screen (Cyrex Laboratories)

Pineapple Bromelain

Optimal Result: 0.2 - 2.6 ELISA Index.

Bromelain is an effective chemoresponsive proteolytic enzyme derived from pineapple stems. It contains several thiol endopeptidases and is extracted and purified via several methods.

Bromelain is a specific pineapple antigen. When assessed alone it is more sensitive than measuring antibodies against many pineapple proteins.

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Ananas comosus, popularly known as pineapple belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae and is considered as the second most essential tropical fruit worldwide. The pineapple fruit is widely consumed fresh or cooked or even extracted for its juice. Consumption of pineapple has mostly been associated with allergic reactions, such as oral allergy syndrome (OAS), that may be related to pollens (pollen-food-syndrome). The OAS due to pineapple was found to be prevalent in various regions across the globe (Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia), however, the percentage of prevalence was not found to be very significant. Such type of OAS (oropharyngeal, cutaneous, respiratory, or gastrointestinal manifestations) is attributed to the presence of pan-allergen profilin, Ana c 1 in pineapple fruit.

Further, systemic immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated hypersensitivity reactions are also observed due to pineapple consumption, mainly due to its bromelain content (Ana c 2, a major allergen). Such reactions may even lead to anaphylaxis in few cases. Besides, pineapple has been found to be associated with unpleasant reactions, such as oral mucosal irritation, which is majorly due to its acidic content or bromelain-mediated proteolysis of oral mucosa, so not due to the IgE-mediated allergic reactions. Bromelain or Ana c 2 is a member of cysteine protease enzyme and plays a major role in detecting cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) in pollens. Further, Ana c 1 is found to be cross-reactive with profilins present in pollens and fruits due to its high-sequence identity observed .

Also, pineapple has been found to be associated with latex-fruit syndrome and ficus-fruit syndrome due to both its allergens, profilin and bromelain. Additionally, bromelain is highly homologous to other cysteine proteinases, such as papain.

What does it mean if your Pineapple Bromelain result is too high?

Abstain from all forms of pineapple including digestive enzymes containing bromelain.

Pineapple fruit may induce immunoglobulin hypersensitivity reactions with bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme and a major allergen of pineapple responsible for its allergy. Apart from the fruit, bromelain has extensively been found in other parts of the plant, which include its stem, leaves as well as peel of the fruit. The stem and fruit possess high quantities of bromelain allergen, which has wide biotechnological applications in the field of food, medicine and cosmetic industry. Interestingly, the bromelain content in stem is more than that of fruit. 

Pineapple has been found to be associated with unpleasant reactions such as irritation of oral mucosa, which is majorly due to its acidic content or bromelain-mediated proteolysis of oral mucosa. These irritational reactions are usually associated with the enzyme activity of bromelain and are not attributed to the IgE-mediated allergic reactions.

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