Tenderizers are proteolytic enzymes (proteases), which break down the connective tissue of meat partially and make the meat more tender.

The most common and used tenderizers base on the enzymes ficain (or ficin), papain and bromelain, which are present in papaya and pineapple. The tenderizers can be distributed through the vascular system of the animals either just before or after the slaughter. They can be put directly onto the surface of meat, too.

Tenderizers or proteolytic enzymes such as actinidin are also the reason why the kiwifruit makes milk become bitter.

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