Papaya is a digestive enzyme, much like bromelain from pineapple. It’s not the ripe papaya that is used but the green papaya. We normally eat papaya as a ripened (orange colored) fruit. In the countries where papaya grows, it is often eaten green such as in the Thai green papaya salad where shredded green papaya is combined with other vegetables such as cucumber and bean sprouts and topped with a spicy hot dressing. Papaya is also available in a chewable, good tasting tablet which is much easier to carry with you to have on hand. Papain, the digestive enzyme in papaya, is also used commercially as a meat tenderizer since it does digest protein.
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