How Does the Canning Process Affect Bromelain

The process of canning involves heating the pineapple at high temperatures to kill any microorganisms and extend its shelf life. Unfortunately, this can also result in a negative effect on bromelain.

The canning process can affect bromelain by causing partial or complete loss of enzymatic activity due to heat. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapples used for medicinal and industrial purposes.

This article will examine the effect of the canning process on bromelain and explore alternative methods for preserving the enzyme’s activity. Continue reading to know more!

Effects of Canning on Bromelain Activity

While canning offers several benefits in terms of extending shelf life and preventing spoilage, it can also have certain effects on preserved food’s nutritional and enzymatic properties.

Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple, is known for its various health benefits. Here are the effects of canning on bromelain activity.

Temperature Sensitivity

Bromelain is highly sensitive to heat, and canning involves subjecting food to high temperatures during the thermal processing phase. This heat exposure can result in the denaturation or inactivation of bromelain.

The canning process’s temperature and duration are critical factors determining the extent of bromelain activity loss. Higher temperatures and longer processing times generally lead to greater enzyme inactivation.

pH Alterations

During the canning process, the pH of the food may change due to the presence of acids or bases in the preserving solution. Bromelain activity is pH-dependent, with an optimal pH range for activity.

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Any significant alteration in pH can potentially affect the stability and activity of bromelain. Acidic or alkaline conditions outside the optimal pH range can lead to a reduction in bromelain activity.

Enzyme Inactivation

Mechanisms Bromelain can undergo various mechanisms of inactivation during canning. Heat-induced denaturation is a primary mechanism where high temperatures disrupt the enzyme’s three-dimensional structure, rendering it inactive.

Oxidation, another mechanism, can occur due to exposure to oxygen during canning, leading to the loss of enzyme activity. Additionally, the presence of metal ions, such as copper or iron, in the food or canning equipment can catalyze enzyme inactivation.

Variability Among Canned Products

The effects of canning on bromelain activity can vary depending on the specific product being preserved. Factors such as the initial enzyme activity in the raw material, the formulation of the preserving solution, and the canning process parameters can all contribute to the degree of bromelain activity loss.

Different pineapple cultivars or variations in the canning process can result in varying enzyme retention or inactivation levels.

Nutritional Considerations

Bromelain offers numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. However, canning may reduce the enzymatic activity of bromelain, potentially impacting its nutritional value.

Consumers should know that canned pineapple products may have lower bromelain activity than fresh or minimally processed alternatives. Considering other sources of bromelain, such as supplements or fresh pineapple, can be beneficial for individuals seeking to maximize the intake of this enzyme.

Does the Canning Process Impact the Protein Affecting Properties of Bromelain in Gelatin?

The bromeliad’s impact on gelatin protein has been a subject of interest when it comes to the canning process. Researchers are investigating whether the canning process affects the properties of bromelain, an enzyme found in bromeliads, in gelatin. Understanding the potential impact is crucial for food manufacturers to ensure the desired functionalities of gelatin are maintained throughout the canning process.

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Preservation of Bromelain in Canned Pineapples

Preserving bromelain activity in canned pineapples requires careful consideration of various factors during the canning process.

Controlling the processing conditions, regulating pH levels, using enzyme stabilizers, and implementing vacuum sealing techniques contribute to retaining the enzymatic activity of bromelain. Here is a detailed discussion of the considerations.

Optimal Processing Conditions

It is essential to establish optimal processing conditions during canning to preserve bromelain activity. This includes carefully controlling the temperature and duration of the thermal treatment.

The enzyme’s activity can be retained better by using lower temperatures and shorter processing times. Mild heat treatment ensures that the bromelain remains active while achieving the desired level of preservation.

pH Regulation

Maintaining the appropriate pH during the canning process is crucial for preserving bromelain activity. Bromelain exhibits optimal activity within a specific pH range. Thus, the pH of the preserving solution should be adjusted to match this range.

Acidic conditions, typically achieved by adding citric acid or ascorbic acid, help preserve bromelain activity, as it is more stable in slightly acidic environments.

Enzyme Stabilizer

The addition of enzyme stabilizers can aid in preserving bromelain activity during canning. Certain compounds, such as sugars (e.g., sucrose), polyols (e.g., sorbitol), and specific salts (e.g., sodium chloride), have been found to enhance enzyme stability.

These stabilizers help protect the enzyme against denaturation or inactivation caused by temperature, pH changes, and other factors during canning.

Vacuum Sealing

Creating a vacuum seal within the canned pineapple containers is an effective preservation method. Vacuum sealing minimizes the oxygen content within the container, reducing the potential for oxidation and enzymatic inactivation.

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By limiting exposure to oxygen, bromelain activity can be better preserved, ensuring its functionality and nutritional benefits.

Storage Condition

Proper storage conditions play a vital role in maintaining bromelain activity in canned pineapples. It is crucial to store the cans in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat, moisture, and light can accelerate enzyme inactivation and degradation. Adhering to the recommended storage guidelines for canned pineapples helps to preserve the bromelain’s enzymatic activity over an extended period.


After examining the effects of the canning process on Bromelian, it becomes clear that the enzyme is quite sensitive to high temperatures. Various studies and experiments have demonstrated that prolonged exposure to heat will lead to a loss of activity and potency, which may ultimately affect the intended effects of bromelain supplements.

However, not all forms of canning are created equal, and some methods may be more effective at preserving the enzyme’s integrity than others. As such, it’s important for consumers to do their due diligence and carefully research the brands and products they’re considering to ensure that they are getting the highest quality and most effective form of bromelain.

By selecting the right product and storing it properly, individuals can reap the many potential health benefits associated with this powerful enzyme.



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