The Hluhluwe Queen Pineapple Marketing Association was established on
11 November 1988 to promote pineapples.
Scientific interest has centered on the fact that fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelian (also bromelain) which breaks down protein. Since bromelian’s medical use was first investigated in 1957, some 400 papers have been written on its various applications.
Bromelian is sometimes used medicinally in concentrated tablet form for patients who have problems digesting protein. There is also some evidence that suggests it may help to combat sinus congestion and urinary tract infections. It also may augment the effect of antibiotics.
It has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of ostea and rheumatoid arthritis, lessening the time and degree of inflammation.
Because bromelian is thought to accelerate tissue repair, it has many applications for sport injuries including bruises, blisters and sprains. Bromelian degrades damaged skin tissue and attacks bacterial cells, providing clean, smooth wound. Studies suggest that pineapple enzymes limit the tendency to form blood clots and they may improve circulation in narrowed arteries. Blood clots which block an oxygen-carrying blood vessel, is a key factor in heart attacks and strokes.
Pineapple juice provides an ingredient for skin care lotions because bromelian breaks down dead or damaged outer layers of skin to expose softer inner layers.
Bromelian enzymes are present in raw pineapples or freshly squeezed pineapple juice (not in canned pineapples – hence the advantage of using canned pineapple in gelatin moulds as the Bromelian enzymes that prevent gelatin from setting is absent). The fruit, stem and leaves all contain the enzyme.