What Happened: We disintegrated Jello using pineapples
(With help from Anthony)
(With help from Anthony)
Before we added the pineapple
The Jello started to melt after a minute
The Jello was half dissolved by now
The Jello is almost fully dissolved by now
It's fully dissolved now
Warning: Do not add pineapple
Why did it do that?
Jell-O gelatin was first patented in 1845 by Peter Cooper of Cooper Union.
Gelatin is a processed version of the protein collagen, a simple protein that makes up one-third of all proteins in the human body. The main source of the collagen that is used in Jell-O comes from hooves, bones, connective tissue found on cows, horses and pigs. Along with collagen, Jell-O consists of water, food coloring, sugar, and artificial flavors. Collagen is found in all living animals. This protein is what gives body parts strength, flexibility, and protection. There are five major categories of collagen that range from the fibers in your eyes to the structure of placentas. To harvest the collagen needed for gelatin the Jell-O Corporation turns to natural sources found in cows, horses, and pigs. The animals' body part's which were previously mention are ground up to expose the proteins within. After they are ground up the bio matter is then treated with a strong acid or base, which breaks down the cellular structures of the collagen to release the proteins from connective tissue. After the proteins become separated from the tissues the bio-mass is then discarded. Then, the mixture created from the released proteins (collagen proteins, which are the basis of Jell-O) and the strong acid or base is then boiled.
(From General Chemistry Online)
Pineapple contains a plant enzyme called bromelain that breaks down proteins. Bromelain is used in many meat tenderizers for this purpose (and that's why cooking ham with pineapple makes it tender). JellO packages warn you not to put pineapple chunks into the gelatin. Jello is a protein mesh with trapped pockets of liquid; the bromelain cuts the protein chains and keeps the gelatin from jelling properly. Why do pineapples produce an enzyme that tenderizes meat? It's a defense mechanism. The sap of the pineapple plant contains much higher concentrations of bromelain and can cause severe pain if eaten.
Other uses for bromelain:
Bromelain can be used in a vast array of medical conditions. It was first introduced in this area in 1957, and works by blocking some proinflammatory metabolites that accelerate and worsen the inflammatory process. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, and so can be used for sports injury, trauma, arthritis, and other kinds of swelling. Its main uses are treatment of athletic injuries, digestive problems, phlebitis, sinusitis, and aiding healing after surgery.