Pineapple is a tropical fruit that is sweet and has a characteristic flavor. It is amongst the most popular tropical fruits. (1)
Milk in itself is a nutritious drink that is rich in fats, carbohydrates, and protein, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals required by the body. (2)
There are numerous claims stating milk with pineapple leads to food poisoning symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But, these claims have no scientific evidence to prove them.
A study was done on rats and it was found the rats that were given pineapple with milk were as healthy as those in the control group. (3)
Pineapple can curdle the milk and turn it sour, but, you need not worry while consuming them together or mixing them for smoothies or shakes.
What Happen when you Mix Mild and Pineapple
Mixing pineapple and milk may lead to milk curdling that is mistaken for milk spoiling.
Milk gets spoiled due to the overgrowth of spoilage bacteria. Curdling of milk with pineapple is due to the enzyme bromelain.
Bromelain is a group of enzyme present in pineapple that belongs to the group protease, which break protein by cutting down the chain of amino acids. Bromelain acts on casein that is the main milk protein and breaks it down into peptides or smaller protein pieces (2, 4, 5). There are also various other enzymes in pineapple that may be involved in the role of breaking down casein, but bromelain plays the main role.
Spoiled milk is unsafe to drink not the curdled milk. It often leads to a bitter taste due to an increase in bitter amino acids known as tryptophan and proline.
In the Indonesian cheese-making process pineapple juice and milk are mixed together to produce soft cheese. (6)
How To Use Pineapple And Milk In The Same Recipe?
There are a few tips that can prevent curding while mixing milk with pineapple.
You can heat or cook pineapple beforehand to denature bromelain. This enzyme is heat sensitive and at high temperatures get deactivated. This may prevent the breakdown of casein and milk curdling (7). Cool the heated pineapple before using it in any recipe.
Packed or pasteurized pineapples can also be used as they have already gone through the heating process. One just has to be mindful as these pineapples might contain added sugar.
Cow’s milk or other plant-based milk like coconut milk, almond milk, or oats milk can be used as they are low in protein and they have fewer chances of curdling.
Mixing milk and pineapple is not dangerous nor poisonous. It may just curdle the milk which is because of the enzyme present in pineapple. You can avoid curdling by heating the pineapple and deactivating the enzyme and its action.
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