Pineapple edit

Pineapple, (Ananas comosus), perennial plant of the family Bromeliaceae and its edible fruit. Pineapple is native to tropical and subtropical America and has been introduced elsewhere. The fruit has become a characteristic ingredient in the meat, vegetable, fish, and rice dishes of what is loosely termed Pan-Asian cuisine. The fruit is eaten fresh where available and in canned form worldwide. In the United States and in Europe it is sometimes used as a pastry filling or in baked desserts.

Physical description and cultivation edit

The plant has 30 to 40 stiff succulent leaves closely spaced in a rosette on a thick fleshy stem. In commercial varieties about 15 to 20 months after planting, a determinate inflorescence forms on a flower stalk 100–150 mm (4–6 inches) in length. The originally separate light purple flowers, together with their bracts, each attached to a central axis core, become fleshy and fuse to form the pineapple fruit, which ripens five to six months after flowering begins. Fruits of commercial varieties range from 1 to 2 kg (2 to 4 pounds) in weight. When pineapple is cultivated on modern plantations, an asphalt-impregnated mulch paper is usually first laid on well-tilled soil in rows, with the edges covered to anchor the strips of paper. The pineapple propagating pieces are inserted through the paper into the soil, so spaced as to give a population of 15,000–20,000 plants per acre. The edible flesh is surrounded by green bracts that turn into orange when ripe, which form the skin of the fruit. The bracts are clustered in the upper part of the fruit forming a tuft of leaves. Pineapples have yellow or white pulp, fleshy, aromatic, juicy and sweet. In the fruit there is a fibrous axis that extends from the crown to the pedicle. Mature pineapples have a very singular fragrance, a beautiful colour and pleasant bittersweet taste. It is eaten raw or as an ingredient in juices, preserves, liquors, etc. Both the fruit and the leaves are used to prepare medicinal compounds. The pineapple is an herbaceous plant whose inflorescences are born in the tip of the fruit. These inflorescences have an oval shape. It is a multiple fruit composed of a clustering of fruits. It is a fleshy fruit ending in a crown of leaves. It propagates by cuttings and it prefers the heat. Pineapples has a very high content of water. The glucids occupy the second place and the supply of proteins and lipids is scarce. The caloric value, taking the composition into account, is very low. Each 100 g of edible fresh product supply between 64 and 101 kcal. For that reason pineapples are suitable in slimming diets. The American pineapple is usually eaten fresh, alone or in fruit salads. It is also used in pies and several dishes. Great part of the world-wide production is intended for the processing industry to obtain pineapple in syrup. They are also widely used to obtain juice, as raw material to process stewed fruit and jams. In the Chinese cooking it is a main ingredient combined with pork and duck. This fruit is very sensitive to sudden changes of temperature. The suitable temperatures for partially mature pineapples are around 10-13ºC and for mature pineapples around 7-10ºC. Thus, the optimal levels of relative moisture are between 85 and 90%

History edit

The earliest written references to pineapple are by Christopher Columbus, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, and Sir Walter Raleigh, who found pineapple growing in the West Indies, where it was used for food and wine making. The Portuguese were apparently responsible for early dissemination of the pineapple. They introduced it to Saint Helena shortly after they discovered that island in 1502. Soon after, they carried it to Africa and, by about 1550, to India. Before the end of the 16th century, cultivation of the plant had spread over most of the tropical areas of the world, including some of the islands of the South Pacific. Major modern growers of pineapple include Costa Rica, Brazil, China, India, and Thailand.

Varieties edit

The chiefly cultivated varieties of pineapple in the world according to Loyal, are:

  • "Roja española’: Medium plant with small leaves, average barrel-shaped fruit, yellow-orange colour, with well-defined eyes, rectangular, flat and raised in the corners. Pineapples are infrutescences, that is to say, a group of individual fruits that gather to form the multiple fruit we know as pineapple. The only visible sign of each individual fruit is its external scale-shaped cover ("eye’) provided with a tiny leaf. The juice of this variety is of a sweet and pleasant taste.
  • "Mauritus": Small and compact plants, long and narrow leaves of a dark green colour, with red spikes in the borders, conical or cylindrical fruit, bright yellow colour and also yellow inside; prominent and angular eyes.
  • "PR-1-67 ": Medium-size plants, leaves with double or simple spikes, curved upwards. The leaves are of yellowish green colour, reddish-tinged. Barrel-shaped fruit, eyes arranged in 3 spirals, yellow-orange external colour, white pulp, similar to "Roja Española’.
  • "Cabezona’: Large plant, wide leaves, sawed edges, small spikes, ash-grey green colour, wide and rectangular fruit of conical shape, eyes arranged in two spirals, yellow-orange external colour, white, bittersweet, fibrous pulp.
  • "Pernambuco’: Medium-sized, vigorous plant. Medium-sized, wide leaves, of dark green colour, provided with great spikes in the borders. Oblong fruit of yellow colour, both outside and inside. Rounded eyes in the upper part, rectangular and deep in the base.
  • "Montufar": Average-sized plants, short to medium size leaves, green to yellowish-green colour, with large spikes in the borders of the leaves. Conical shape of yellowish green colour on the outside and yellow inside.
  • "Abacaxi’: Medium-sized, extremely turgid plant, long leaves of dark green colour, with reddish spots and medium-sized spikes. Pyramidal to oblong fruit. Of a deep yellow colour outside and a pale yellow to white colour inside.
  • "Ripley": Wide leaves, quite long, reddish-green colour with brown spots, not very strong, irregular spikes. Rounded oval fruit, dark green colour, pale copper colour when ripe. Very sweet and succulent, small amount of fibre.
  • "James Quenn": Vigorous plants, thick stem, long leaves, pale green colour with many strong spikes. Rounded fruit, golden yellow in the outside and deep yellow inside.
  • "Queen": Very old variety, with many sub-varieties. Small plant, short leaves, pale green colour. Multiple separated strong spikes, oblong fruit of golden yellow colour outside and deep yellow inside. Small, prominent and rectangular eyes.
  • "Spanish Jewel": Medium-sized plants, long and wide leaves. Dark green colour, reddish spots, cylindrical shape. White fruit, orange inside. Flat, rectangular and deep eyes.
  • "Sugar Loaf": Small to medium-sized plants. Green-purple colour, spiked borders, oblong-conical fruit, intense yellow external colour, yellow internal colour, small, oval to rounded, flat and deep eyes.
  • "Singapore Spanish": Medium-sized plants, long, narrow leaves of dark green colour, with reddish borders, few spikes, frequently near the apex of the leaf. Fruit of cylindrical shape, pale orange external colour and yellow inside.
  • "Masmerah": Large plants with long, narrow leaves of dark green colour. Free from spikes. Fruit of cylindrical shape, golden-yellow inside and external orange colour, with a large crown, rectangular, slightly deep eyes.
  • "Cayena Lisa’: Medium-sized plants, long and wide leaves, dark green colour with reddish spots, smooth edges with the exception of some spikes in the tip of the leaf. Fruit of cylindrical shape, reddish-orange outside and pale yellow colour inside. Flat, hexagonal and shallow eyes.
  • "Champaka’: Large plants, long and wide leaves, dark green colour with reddish spots, smooth edges except for some spikes in the tip of the leaf. Cylindrical fruit of reddish-orange colour outside and yellow inside.
  • "Monte Lirio’: Small plant, few and medium-sized leaves, intense green colour, free from spikes, smooth edges. Globose fruit, yellow colour in the outside and white inside.
  • "Perolera’: Great plants, short and medium-sized leaves of dark green colour, with reddish spots and smooth edges. Block-shaped fruit, of yellow colour.
  • "Barón de Rothschild": Small to medium size, fruit of oblong shape, diminishing its size towards the base of the crown. Yellow external colour and somewhat paler inside.
  • "Brecheche’: Small plants, medium-sized leaves, olive colour, totally free of spikes and not rolled inward edges, fruit of cylindrical shape and yellow colour.
  • "Burmanguesa’: Perhaps it is a mutation of "Perolera’, from which it is distinguished by its pale green leaves; fruit of red to purple external colour, intense yellow inside and shallow eyes.
  • "Maipure’: Large plants, dark green long leaves, with red spots, smooth edges, with some spikes on the tips. Cylindrical fruit of yellow colour in the outside and paler inside.
  • "Rondon": Medium-sized plants of dark green colour, with red spots, free of spikes, with smooth edges, and some spikes on the tips. Elongate-cylindrical fruit of yellow-orange colour, white inside. Flat and slightly deep eyes.

Availability edit

Fresh and tinned pineapples are found in our markets all over the year. In the Canary Islands they are found from January until December.

The following table shows the data of availability in the United Kingdom market, the origin and the weight of the packages.

  1. Origin Availability in the UK markets Weight of the packages
  • Australia - All the year round - 20/22kg
  • Brazil - All the year round - Various
  • Cameroon - All the year round - 12kg
  • Colombia - All the year round - 18kg
  • Costa Rica - All the year round - Various
  • Ivory Coast -All the year round - 8/12kg
  • Dominican - All the year round Various
  • Dominican Republic- All the year round - Various
  • Ecuador - May-December - ct6/16
  • Fiji - On trial - Various
  • Ghana - All the year round - 10/16kg
  • Honduras - All the year round - Various
  • India - All the year round - Various
  • Kenya - All the year round - ct 61,5/2,5kg
  • Madagascar -February-September - 12kg
  • Malaysia - All the year round - 10kg
  • México - All the year round - Various
  • Nigeria - October-December - Various

Puerto Rico - All the year round - 9/10kg ct5/10 South Africa- All the year round - ct6/12/24 Sri Lanka - All the year round - 8/11kg Santa Lucia - All the year round - 17/18 kg Thailand - All the year round - 2kg Uganda - All the year round - ct6/12/24

Packaging edit

Fresh pineapples are not usually packaged. However, there is a type of packaging consisting of sliced pineapple introduced in rounded plastic cans. But this type of packaging is not fruit tinning, so find it in the fridge of the stores and not in the preserves’ shells.

Post-harvest edit

Post-harvest Atmosphere Management edit

Pineapples are very fragile fruit and sensitive to sudden changes of temperature. It is possible to store them for few days in a fresh and dry place, although it must never be kept in the fridge, since temperatures below 7ºC injure the fruit. Once cut and peeled it can be stored in the fridge covered with plastic, trying to consume it as soon as possible.

If pineapples are subject to ethylene exposure, the degreening of the skin will be faster, not affecting the internal quality. The degreening means the loss of chlorophyll. Pineapples must be harvested when they are sufficiently mature to be consumed, since they do not continue maturation after harvesting.

Controlled atmospheres delay senescence and reduce the rate of respiration. The optimal proportions are 3-5% of oxygen and 5-8% of carbon dioxide. The potential post-harvest life varies from 2 to 4 weeks in air, and between 4 and 6 weeks in controlled atmospheres at 10ºC, depending on the degree of maturation and the cultivar.

Distribution edit

The same environmental conditions for storage are the optimal for transport and distribution.

Post-harvest Problems edit

After the harvesting, pineapples may undergo some problems caused by chilling injuries and pathogens.

  • Chilling injuries

The exposure at temperatures below 7ºC causes chilling injuries. Mature fruit is more susceptible to suffer these damages than the green one. The symptoms include a duller green colour, soft and wet flesh, a darker colour of the surface, and higher susceptibility to damages caused by falls and hits.

  • Damages caused by pathogens

- Dark rot: caused by Thielaviopsis paradoxa. It begins in the stem and spreads to the flesh. The affected area lowers with a slight pressure and it darkens.

- Fermentation caused by yeast: Caused by Saccharomyces spp, it is generally associated to an excessive maturation of the fruit. The yeast gets inside the fruit through the wounds. The fruit’s flesh softens and turns into a yellow colour. It is also easily broken.

Healthy effects edit

Benefits for the health edit

The nutritious profile of pineapples is similar to that of many other fruits containing high levels of carbohydrates and low levels of fat and proteins. Fibre represents around 14% of the dry matter, reason why this fruit can be included in low cholesterol diets. The content of vitamin C is approximately half of the quantity found in citruses, and the level of pro-vitamin A carotenoids is low as compared with papaya and mango. Pineapple is also a good source of bromelin enzyme, that contributes in digestion, and at the same time decomposes the proteins. The phytochemicals found in pineapples include quercetin and other phenolic compounds regarded as antioxidants and inhibitors of cancer.

Popular tradition edit

Pineapples are sweet, astringent and somewhat acid. Bromelin has anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous properties. It helps to decrease the blood density, thus preventing thrombosis. It also helps to digest proteins and to accelerate the recovery of the organism.

It is a digestive, anti-diarrhoeic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory fruit. It is recommended to treat sunstroke and polydipsia, indigestion, diarrhoea, dysuria and diabetes.

Recipes edit


Time required:20 min Servings:For 4 servings

  • Ingredients

-2 slices fresh pineapple -1 little banana -6 dates -150 g fresh strawberries -150 g yoghurt -2 tablespoons roasted almonds

-- Directions Chop the pineapple slices, the banana, the strawberries and the dates. Mix with the yoghurt in dessert glasses and dot the roasted almonds on top.


Time required:10 min Servings:For 1 servings

  • Ingredients

-1 Zespri kiwi -2 tablespoons brandy (optional) -1/4 cup grinded ice -1/2 glass chilled ginger ale Kiwi and pineapple to garnish

-- Directions Peel and cut kiwis. Whirl in a blender for 10 seconds. Add other ingredients and whirl until pureed. Pour in a chilled glass and garnish with a kiwi or pineapple slice.


Time required:20 min Servings:For 2 servings

  • Ingredients

Mediterranean salad with watermelon1/2 watermelon -3 endives -1 kiwifruit -1 tin sweet corn -2 white asparagus -2 palm hearts -2 slices pineapple

-- Directions Separate 8 endive leaves. Cut the rest of the endives, asparagus, palm hearts, kiwifruit and pineapple. Cut the watermelon into dices and diamonds. Place the cut vegetables and fruit onto two plates, as well as the watermelon and sweet corn. Place the whole endive leaves around them with a watermelon diamond in the centre. Accompany with tropical sauce.


Servings:For 2 servings

  • Ingredients

-1 cup grated carrot -2 cups fresh or canned pineapple, cut into chunks -1 tablespoon lemon juice -1/2 l water

--Directions Combine all ingredients and blend. Serve cool.


Time required:15 min plus about an hour to chill Servings:For 10 servings Special Tools:Serving dish for the dip and large serving plate for vegetables

  • Ingredients

For the dip

-225 g can of pineapple pieces in natural juice -175 g mild blue cheese - Danish or similar -30 ml mayonnaise -150 ml soured cream -salt and pepper to season -chives for garnish

  • To serve

six medium carrots cut into thin sticks, a medium cauliflower cut into small florets one red pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips celery cut into 12cm sticks half a cucumber cut lengthwise into sticks

  • Directions

To make the dip. Put the cheese into a mixing bowl and mash it with a folk until soft. Beat in the mayonnaise and the cream. Drain the pineapple and chop as necessary to give small pieces. Add the pineapple pieces to the cheese, mix together, season with salt and pepper, transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle on a small quantity of chopped chives and chill for about an hour. To serve, put the dish of cheese dip into the centre of a large plate and arrange the cut, fresh vegetables around it. This is ideal as a party dish or to serve with drinks before a meal. The vegetables and salad items make it a healthy choice.


Time required:45 min Servings:For 4 servings

  • Ingredients

-1/2 kg Jerte cherries -50g sugar -4 tablespoons Jerte cherry brandy

Pineapple snow: -1/2 l natural pineapple juice -4 tablespoons sugar -Grated lemon skin -Basil leaves

  • Directions

Pineapple snow: Put the juice and the sugar in a pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the grated lemon skin and the minced basil. Leave it to steep for 30 minutes. Strain. Pour in a dish and keep in the freezer. 1 hour and a half later, mix with a fork. Put again in the freezer for 3 hours, beating with a fork twice. Clean the cherries, bone and put in a bowl with sugar and the cherry brandy. Leave in the fridge while the pineapple snow curdles, stirring now and again. Put in the middle of the dishes 4 tablespoons pineapple snow and over that, the cherries and their juice.


Time required:1 h 15 min Servings:For 2 servings

  • Ingredients

-Rice, beef and banana casserole1 tablespoon sunflower oil -1 onion, peeled and chopped -1 clove garlic, crushed -225g braising steak -1 teaspoon dried chilli -300ml beef stock -2 tablespoons creamed coconut -50g coconut, crumbled -75g long grain rice -2 pineapple rings, cut into quarters -1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks

  • To garnish

A sprig of parsley

  • Directions

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Cut the steak into cubes and add the chilli to the onion and garlic and fry until brown. Mix together the beef stock and peanut butter and pour over the beef. Bring to the boil, stir in the coconut until dissolved and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the rice, pineapple and banana and cook for a further 25 minutes, until rice is cooked. Serve with a selection of vegetables. Garnish with a sprig of parsley. Energy 589kcal, Protein 32g, Carbohydrate 54g, Fat 28g, Fibre 4g. Calculated to include 100 g de brócoli por ración.


Servings:For 2 servings

  • Ingredients

-1 cup orange segments -1 cup pineapple, diced -1 cup banana, sliced into rounds -1 cup grapes, seeded -1 cup coconut, grated -1 cup vanilla yoghurt

  • Directions

Mix all the ingredients and bind them in the yoghurt. Serve immediately.


Time required:25 min Servings:For 2 servings

  • Ingredients

-1 Golden apple, cored and sliced -1 Red Delicious apple, cored and sliced -1 fresh pineapple, pared, cored and cut into spears -1 melon, pared and cut into chunks -1 papaya, pared and sliced -1 banana, peeled and sliced

Lime-cream dressing

-lemon yogurt -2 tablespoons honey -2 tablespoons lime juice

  • Directions

Arrange fruit on a large platter. Combine yoghurt, honey and lime juice in a small bowl; stir to blend and pour over the fruit platter.

This is an official 5 A Day recipe. Recipe provided by the Washintong Apple Commission Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories, 208; Fat, 1g; Cholesterol, 2mg; Fiber, 3g; Sodium, 52 mg; percent calories from fat, 5%


Servings:For 4 servings

  • Ingredients

Tropical fruit salad -4 bananas -4 pineapple slices -8 dates -4 cherries in syrup -60 g groundnuts -25 g grated coconut -1 glass rum -2 tablespoons pineapple juice -2 tablespoons sugar

  • Directions

Put in a chopped slice of pineapple, a sliced banana and some groundnuts in each serving cup. Dissolve the sugar with the rum and the pineapple juice and pour over the fruit. Dust with the grated coconut and decorate with the dates and cherries.


Time required:10 min Servings:For 2 servings

  • Ingredients

-2 glasses crushed ice -1/3 glass pineapple juice -1/4 glass orange juice -1/4 glass light rum, optional -2-3 tablespoons sugar -2 Zespri kiwis

  • Directions

Mix all ingredients in a jar. Peel and cut Zespri kiwis in cubes and add. Serve chilled in wine glasses.


Time required:15 min Servings:For 6 servings

  • Ingredients

-2 cups pineapple juice -4 Zespri kiwis -2 Zespri kiwis to be cut -1 cup raspberries or small strawberries -1 cup blackberries or bilberry, grated lemon flesh and juice. -1/2 cup sugar -2 granadillas or maracujas flesh

  • Directions

Mix pineapple juice, sugar and lemon juice and flesh in a pot and boil. Stir. Leave to cool. Peel and mince 4 kiwis. Mash until getting a homogeneous mixture and strain. Stir with pineapple mixture. Add granadillas or maracujas flesh. Leave to cool. Before serving, add these berries and 2 cut kiwis.