Papain is an additive extracted from the stem or juice of papaya, and is an enzyme that degrades proteins. Papain is a popular meat tenderizer.

Health considerations

Papain as a therapeutic drug is not regulated by the FDA and is not approved for health claims when used in food. Papain is marketed for use as a digestive enzyme, anti-inflammatory, and as a tooth whitener.

Keep in mind

Individuals allergic to latex may be sensitive to papain.

May be found in

Meat tenderizer, candy, beer, meat products


The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry

Alternative Spellings and Names


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