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The Collaborative International Dictionary

papaya \pa*pa"ya\, n. [Prob. from the native name in the West Indies; cf. Sp. papayo papaw, papaya the fruit of the papaw.]

  1. (Bot.) A tree ( Carica Papaya) of tropical America, belonging to the order Passiflore[ae]; called also papaw and pawpaw. It has a soft, spongy stem, eighteen or twenty feet high, crowned with a tuft of large, long-stalked, palmately lobed leaves. The milky juice of the plant is said to have the property of making meat tender.

  2. The fruit of the papaya tree; it is a dull orange-colored, melon-shaped fruit, which is eaten both raw and cooked or pickled. The fruit contains papain, a protease.


n. (context enzyme English) A proteolytic enzyme in papaya fruit which can be used to tenderize meat.


n. a proteolytic enzyme obtained from the unripe papaya; used as a meat tenderizer


Papain, also known as papaya proteinase I, is a cysteine protease enzyme present in papaya (Carica papaya) and mountain papaya (Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis).

Usage examples of "papain".

There is empirical evidence suggesting that papain enzymes help heal uneven pigmentation, fine lines, and brown spots in addition to exfoliating skin.

I don't mean to single out the Miller company, but you may be interested to know that Miller Lite contains propylene glycol alginate, water, barley malt, corn syrup, chemically modified hop extracts, yeast, amyloglucosidase, carbon dixoide, papain enzyme, liquid sugar, potassium metabisulfite, and Emka-malt, whatever that is.