Why is papain an effective meat tenderizer?
Papain is an enzyme that is extracted from the papaya plant. Its specific action is to disassemble proteins. It makes an effective meat tenderizer because papain works to weaken the molecular structures that bind meat proteins together.PapainIn the 19th century, compounds from papaya sap were recognized for softening proteins. By the 1950s, papain had been further refined and was categorized as an enzyme.Enzymatic ActionPapain is properly classified as a proteolytic enzyme, also known as a proteinase. It works by cleaving protein chains into smaller peptide molecules and eventually into component amino acids.Food TenderizerBecause it is a protein-cleaving enzyme, papain can be used to tenderize meat, and to also soften tough fibers in muscle tissue. Although papain is harvested from the sap of the papaya plant, the leaves of the papaya plant also contain enzymes that can tenderize meat when they are wrapped around it.Other UsesPapain can be used as a post-operative dressing to remove d