What is papain?
Papain is a milky latex that is collected by making incisions in unripe papayas. It is one of a group of proteolytic enzymes found in papayas, pineapples, and certain other plants. Proteolytic enzymes help you digest the proteins in food. Papaya and pineapple are two of the richest plant sources of proteolytic enzymes. Where Does Papain Come From? Papain comes from the papaya, a tropical fruit that is about 6 inches long and can range from 1-20 pounds in weight, depending on the variety. Inside, the papaya has silky smooth, orange-yellow flesh and a large center cavity full of shiny grayish-black seeds. The flesh is juicy and has a subtle, sweet-tart or musky taste, somewhat like a cantaloupe.
Papaya is now widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries. There are about 45 species of papaya. The most common variety in the United States is the Solo papaya, which is grown in Hawaii and Florida. Mexican papayas are much larger than the Hawaiian types and may be more than 15 i