One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A protein-digesting enzyme obtained from unripe papaya fruit, used to tenderize meat and as a food supplement to aid digestion.
- ‘Proteolytic enzymes such as papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple are used in extract form as meat tenderizers.’
- ‘Rich in the protein-breaking enzyme papain, papaya is known to ease digestive complaints and for its anti-ulcer and antimicrobial effects.’
- ‘Take the digestive enzymes bromolain and papain, which, once absorbed, have an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces the body's swelling, pain, tenderness and bruising.’
- ‘Papaya contains the enzyme papain, which is one of the best exfoliators around.’
- ‘This tropical fruit contains the enzyme papain, which researchers say aids digestion by helping your body break down proteins.’
Late 19th century: from papaya + -in.
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