Pineapple
Overview
 
Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 and its edible fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

, which is actually a multiple fruit
Multiple fruit
Multiple fruits are fruits that are formed from a cluster of flowers . Each flower in the inflorescence produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass...

 consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae
Bromeliaceae
Bromeliaceae is a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana...

. Besides being produced for consumption, it can be grown as an ornamental or houseplant, obtained from the crown of a supermarket fruit.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 and its edible fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

, which is actually a multiple fruit
Multiple fruit
Multiple fruits are fruits that are formed from a cluster of flowers . Each flower in the inflorescence produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass...

 consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae
Bromeliaceae
Bromeliaceae is a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana...

. Besides being produced for consumption, it can be grown as an ornamental or houseplant, obtained from the crown of a supermarket fruit. Some sources say that the plant will flower after about 24 months and produce a fruit during the following six months, while others indicate a 20-month timetable.

Pineapple can be consumed fresh, canned or juiced and can be used in a variety of ways. It is popularly used in dessert
Dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

s, fruit salad
Fruit salad
Fruit salad is a dish consisting of various kinds of fruit, served in a liquid, either in their own juices or a syrup. When served as an appetizer or as a dessert, a fruit salad is sometimes known as a fruit cocktail or fruit cup...

s (usually tropical fruit salads, but it can vary), jams, yogurts, ice creams, various candies, as a complement to meat dishes and in fruit cocktail. The popularity of the pineapple is due to its sweet-sour taste. The core of the pineapple is continuous with the stem supporting the fruit and with the crown, a feature unique among cultivated fruits.

Pineapple is used for many other things aside from consumption. In the Philippines, pineapple leaves are used as the source of a textile fiber called piña
Piña
Piña is a pineapple fiber made from the leaves of a pineapple plant and is commonly used in the Philippines. It is sometimes combined with silk or polyester to create a textile fabric. Piña's name comes from the Spanish word piña which literally means pineapple.- Production methods :Since piña is...

. This fiber can used in a variety of ways such as a wall paper and a component of furnishings.

Etymology

The word pineapple in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cone
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

s). The term pine cone for the reproductive organ of conifer trees was first recorded in 1694. When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them pineapples (term first recorded in that sense in 1664 because of their resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone).

In the scientific binomial Ananas comosus, ananas, the original name of the fruit, comes from the Tupi
Tupian languages
The Tupi or Tupian language family comprises some 70 languages spoken in South America, of which the best known are Tupi proper and Guarani.-History, members and classification:...

 word nanas, meaning "excellent fruit", as recorded by André Thevet
André Thévet
André de Thevet was a French Franciscan priest, explorer, cosmographer and writer who travelled to Brazil in the 16th century...

 in 1555, and comosus, "tufted", refers to the stem of the fruit. Other members of the Ananas
Ananas
The genus Ananas belongs to the Bromeliad family . It is best known for the species Ananas comosus, the pineapple.This genus originated in Mesoamerica and was brought to the Caribbean Islands by the Carib natives...

genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 are often called pine as well by laymen.

Many languages use the Tupian term ananas. In Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, pineapples are called piña "pine cone" in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and most Hispanic American countries, or ananá (ananás in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

) (see the piña colada
Piña Colada
The piña colada is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge or a maraschino cherry or both...

drink). They have varying names in the languages of India: "Ananas" (अननस) in Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

, "Anaasa" (అనాస) in Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

, "Sapuri-PaNasa" (ସପୁରି ପଣସ) in Oriya language
Oriya language
Oriya , officially Odia from November, 2011, is an Indian language, belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is mainly spoken in the Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal...

, annachi pazham (Tamil), anarosh (Bengali), and in Malayalam, kaitha chakka. In Malay, pineapples are known as "nanas" or "nenas". In the Maldivian language of Dhivehi
Dhivehi language
Maldivian is an Indo-Aryan language predominantly spoken by about 350,000 people in the Maldives where it is the national language. It is also the first language of nearly 10,000 people in the island of Minicoy in the Union territory of Lakshadweep, India where the Mahl dialect of the Maldivian...

, pineapples are known as alanaasi. A large, sweet pineapple grown especially in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 is called abacaxi abakaˈʃi. Along the Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

 speaking coast of East Africa the fruit is known as "nanasi".

Botany

The pineapple is a herbaceous
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 perennial which grows to 1 to 1.5 m (3.3 to 4.9 ft) tall, although sometimes it can be taller. In appearance, the plant itself has a short, stocky stem with tough, waxy leaves. When creating its fruit, it usually produces up to 200 flowers, although some large-fruited cultivars can exceed this. Once it flowers, the individual fruits of the flowers join together to create what is commonly referred to as a pineapple. After the first fruit is produced, side shoots (called 'suckers' by commercial growers) are produced in the leaf axils of the main stem. These may be removed for propagation, or left to produce additional fruits on the original plant. Commercially, suckers that appear around the base are cultivated. It has 30 or more long, narrow, fleshy, trough-shaped leaves with sharp spines along the margins that are 30 to 100 cm (0.984251968503937 to 3.3 ft) long, surrounding a thick stem
Plant stem
A stem is one of two main structural axes of a vascular plant. The stem is normally divided into nodes and internodes, the nodes hold buds which grow into one or more leaves, inflorescence , conifer cones, roots, other stems etc. The internodes distance one node from another...

. In the first year of growth the axis lengthens and thickens, bearing numerous leaves in close spirals. After 12 to 20 months the stem grows into a spike-like inflorescence up to 15 cm long with over 100 spirally arranged, trimerous flowers, each subtended by a bract. Flower colors vary, depending on variety, from lavender, through light purple to red.

The ovaries develop into berries which coalesce into a large, compact, multiple accessory fruit
Accessory fruit
An accessory fruit is a fruit in which some of the flesh is derived not from the ovary but from some adjacent tissue exterior to the carpel. Examples of accessory tissue are the receptacle of strawberries, figs, or mulberries, and the calyx of Gaultheria procumbens or Syzygium jambos...

. The fruit of a pineapple is arranged in two interlocking helices, eight in one direction, thirteen in the other, each being a Fibonacci number.

Pineapple carries out CAM photosynthesis
Crassulacean acid metabolism
Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, is a carbon fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions. The stomata in the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide...

, fixing carbon dioxide at night and storing it as the acid malate
Malate
Malate is the ionized form of malic acid. It is an important chemical compound in biochemistry. In the C4 carbon fixation process, malate is a source of CO2 in the Calvin cycle....

 and then releasing it during the day, aiding photosynthesis.

Pollination

Pollination is required for seed formation, but the presence of seeds negatively affects the quality of the fruit. In Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, where pineapple is cultivated on an agricultural scale, importation of Hummingbird
Hummingbird
Hummingbirds are birds that comprise the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm range. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5-cm Bee Hummingbird. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings...

s is prohibited for this reason. Certain bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

-pollinated wild pineapples only open their flowers at night.

Nutrition

Raw pineapple is an excellent source of manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

 (45% DV in a 100 g serving) and vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

 (80% DV per 100 g).

Mainly from its stem, pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme
Enzyme
Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates...

, bromelain
Bromelain
Bromelain is a pineapple extract thought to be effective for reducing swelling , especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. It may also be used for a variety of other effects that remain scientifically unconfirmed and not authorized by regulatory authorities like the Food and Drug...

, which breaks down protein. If having sufficient bromelain content, pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. Pineapple enzymes can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly
Gelatin dessert
Gelatin desserts are desserts made with sweetened and flavored gelatin. They can be made by combining plain gelatin with other ingredients or by using a premixed blend of gelatin with additives...

 or other gelatin
Gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

-based desserts, but would be destroyed during cooking and the canning
Canning
Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as...

 process. The quantity of bromelain in the fruit is probably not significant, being mostly in the inedible stalk. Furthermore, an ingested enzyme like bromelain is unlikely to survive intact the proteolytic processes of digestion
Digestion
Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into a blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones....

.

Distribution

The plant is indigenous to South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and is said to originate from the area between Southern Brazil and Paraguay; however, it is important to note that little is known about the origin of the domesticated pineapple (Pickersgill, 1976). M.S. Bertoni (1919) considered the Paraná
Paraná River
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

Paraguay River
Paraguay River
The Paraguay River is a major river in south central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina...

 drainages to be the place of origin of A. comosus. The natives of southern Brazil
Southern Region, Brazil
The South Region of Brazil is one of the five regions of Brazil. It includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and covers 576,409.6 km ², being the smallest portion of the country...

 and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, and it eventually reached the Caribbean. Columbus discovered it in 1493 in the Indies and brought it back with him to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 thus making the pineapple the first bromeliad to leave the New World. The Spanish introduced it into the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll...

 (introduced in the early 19th century, first commercial plantation 1886), Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 and Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

. Many say that the fruit was first introduced in Hawaii when a Spanish ship brought them there in the 1500s. The fruit was cultivated successfully in European hothouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

s, and pineapple pits
Pineapple Pit
A pineapple pit is a method of growing pineapples in colder climates.This method of cultivation was invented by gardeners in the UK, during the Victorian era.-Method of cultivation:...

, beginning in 1720.

Although it was discovered by Captain Cook, John Kidwell is credited with the introduction of the pineapple industry in Hawaii. Large scale pineapple cultivation by U.S. companies began in the early 1900s on Hawaii. Among the most famous and influential pineapple industrialists was James Dole
James Dole
James Drummond Dole , also known as the "Pineapple King'", was an American industrialist who developed the pineapple industry in Hawaii and established the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. Hawaiian Pineapple Company, or HAPCO, was later reorganized to become the Dole Food Company, which now does...

,who moved to Hawaii in 1899 and started a pineapple plantation in the year 1900. The companies Dole
Dole Food Company
Dole Food Company, Inc. is an American-based agricultural multinational corporation headquartered in Westlake Village, California. The company is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, operating with 74,300 full-time and seasonal employees who are responsible for over 300...

 and Del Monte
Fresh Del Monte Produce
Fresh Del Monte Produce is a global producer, marketer and distributor of fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables. Fresh Del Monte Produce is also a producer and distributor of prepared fruit and vegetables, juices, beverages, snacks and desserts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa...

 began growing pineapple on the island of Oahu
Oahu
Oahu or Oahu , known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast...

 in 1901 and 1917, respectively. Dole's pineapple company began with the acquisition of sixty acres of land in 1901, and, as previously mentioned, has grown into a major company today. Maui Pineapple Company
Maui Pineapple Company
Maui Pineapple Company, Ltd. was a subsidiary of Maui Land & Pineapple Company Inc, and was the USA’s largest grower, processor, and shipper of Hawaiian pineapples. MPC had existed for a century, based in Maui, Hawaii, United States, and at one time cultivated and processed approximately of...

 began pineapple cultivation on the island of Maui
Maui
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

 in 1909. In 2006, Del Monte announced its withdrawal from pineapple cultivation in Hawaii, leaving only Dole and Maui Pineapple Company in Hawaii as the USA’s largest growers of pineapples. Maui Pineapple Company markets its Maui Gold brand of pineapple and Dole markets its Hawaii Gold brand of pineapple.

In the USA in 1986, the Pineapple Research Institute was dissolved and its assets were divided between Del Monte and Maui Land and Pineapple
Maui Land & Pineapple Company
Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. is a land holding and operating company founded in 1909 and based in Maui, Hawaii, United States. It owns approximately on the island of Maui. It develops, sells, and manages residential, resort, commercial and industrial real estate; and operates retail, golf...

. Del Monte took variety 73–114, which it dubbed MD-2, to its plantations in Costa Rica, found it to be well-suited to growing there, and launched it publicly in 1996. (Del Monte also began marketing 73–50, dubbed CO-2, as Del Monte Gold). In 1997, Del Monte began marketing its Gold Extra Sweet pineapple, known internally as MD-2. MD-2 is a hybrid that originated in the breeding program
Breeding program
Breeding programs help animals to breed and can be good for animals as well as the agricultural economy.A breeding program is the planned breeding of a group of animals or plants, usually involving at least several individuals and extending over several generations...

 of the now-defunct Pineapple Research Institute in Hawaii, which conducted research on behalf of Del Monte, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, and Dole.
Production of pineapples by country — 2009
(thousand metric ton)
2198
1894
 Costa Rica 1870
 Indonesia 1558
1477
1471
1341
898
685
460
428
400
Source:
Food and Agriculture Organization

Cultivation

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 dominates world production: in 2001 Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 produced 1.979 million tons and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 1.618 million tons, while in the Americas Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 produced 1.43 million tons. Total world production in 2001 was 14.220 million tons. The primary exporters of fresh pineapples in 2001 were Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, 322,000 tons; Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

, 188,000 tons; and the Philippines, 135,000 tons.
Since about 2000, the most common fresh pineapple fruit found in U.S. and European supermarkets is a low-acid hybrid that was developed in Hawaii in the early 1970s.

In commercial farming, flowering can be induced artificially, and the early harvesting of the main fruit can encourage the development of a second crop of smaller fruits. Once removed during cleaning, the top of the pineapple can be planted in soil and a new plant will grow. Slips and suckers are planted commercially.

Ethical and environmental concerns

Three quarters of pineapples sold in Europe are grown in Costa Rica, where pineapple production is highly industrialised. Growers typically use 20 kg of pesticides per hectare in each growing cycle, a process that may affect soil quality and biodiversity. The pesticides – organophosphates, organochlorines and hormone disruptors
Endocrine disruptor
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with endocrine in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders...

 – have potential to affect workers' health and can contaminate local drinking water supplies. Many of these chemicals have potential to be carcinogen
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

s and may be related to birth defects.

Because of commercial pressures, many pineapple workers – 60% of whom are Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

n – in Costa Rica are paid low wages. European supermarkets' price-reduction policies have lowered growers' incomes. One major pineapple producer refutes these claims.

Cultivars

There are many cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s. The leaves
Leaves
-History:Vocalist Arnar Gudjonsson was formerly the guitarist with Mower, and he was joined by Hallur Hallsson , Arnar Ólafsson , Bjarni Grímsson , and Andri Ásgrímsson . Late in 2001 they played with Emiliana Torrini and drew early praise from the New York Times...

 of the commonly grown 'Smooth Cayenne' are smooth and is the most commonly grown worldwide. Many cultivars have become distributed from its origins in Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 and the southern part of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. and later improved stocks were introduced into the Americas, the Azores, Africa, India, Malaysia and Australia. Varieties include:
  • 'Hilo': A compact 1–1.5 kg (2–3 lb) Hawaiian variant of 'Smooth Cayenne'. The fruit is more cylindrical and produces many suckers but no slips.
  • 'Kona Sugarloaf': 2.5–3 kg (5–6 lb), white flesh with no woodiness in the center. Cylindrical in shape, it has a high sugar content but no acid. An unusually sweet fruit.
  • 'Natal Queen': 1–1.5 kg (2–3 lb), golden yellow flesh, crisp texture and delicate mild flavor. Well adapted to fresh consumption. Keeps well after ripening. Leaves spiny. Grown in Australia, Malaysia, and South Africa.

  • 'Pernambuco' ('Eleuthera'): 1–2 kg (2–4 lb) with pale yellow to white flesh. Sweet, melting and excellent for eating fresh. Poorly adapted for shipping. Leaves spiny. Grown in Latin America
  • 'Red Spanish': 1–2 kg (2–4 lb), pale yellow flesh with pleasant aroma; squarish in shape. Well adapted for shipping as fresh fruit to distant markets. Leaves spiny. Grown in Latin America
  • 'Smooth Cayenne': 2.5–3 kg (5–6 lb), pale yellow to yellow flesh. Cylindrical in shape and with high sugar and acid content. Well adapted to canning and processing. Leaves without spines. This is the variety from Hawaii, and the most easily obtainable in U.S. grocery store
    Grocery store
    A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

    s. Both 73–114 and 73-50 are of this cultivar.


Traditional medicine and preliminary research

Both the root and fruit may be eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory
Anti-inflammatory
Anti-inflammatory refers to the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs make up about half of analgesics, remedying pain by reducing inflammation as opposed to opioids, which affect the central nervous system....

 or as a proteolytic agent. In some practices, it may be used to induce abortion or menstruation or as an antihelminthic agent.

Bromelain
Bromelain
Bromelain is a pineapple extract thought to be effective for reducing swelling , especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. It may also be used for a variety of other effects that remain scientifically unconfirmed and not authorized by regulatory authorities like the Food and Drug...

 purified from pineapple stem or fresh juice, then provided in the diet over 6 months, decreased the severity of colonic inflammation in mice with experimental colitis
Colitis
In medicine, colitis refers to an inflammation of the colon and is often used to describe an inflammation of the large intestine .Colitides may be acute and self-limited or chronic, i.e...

.

Pests and diseases

Pineapples are subject to a variety of diseases, the most serious of which is wilt disease vectored by mealybug
Mealybug
Mealybugs are insects in the family Pseudococcidae, unarmored scale insects found in moist, warm climates. They are considered pests as they feed on plant juices of greenhouse plants, house plants and subtropical trees and also acts as a vector for several plant diseases.-Distribution:Mealybugs...

s typically found on the surface of pineapples, but possibly in the closed blossom cups. Other diseases include pink disease, bacterial heart rot, anthracnose, fungal heart rot, root rot, black rot, butt rot, fruitlet core rot, and yellow spot virus.
Pink disease is characterized by the fruit developing a brownish to black discoloration when heated during the canning process. The causal agents of pink disease are the bacteria Acetobacter aceti, Gluconobacter oxydans, and Pantoea citrea.

Some pests that commonly affect pineapple plants are scales, thrips, mites, mealybugs, ants, and symphylids.

Storage and transport

Some buyers prefer green fruit, others ripened or off-green. A plant growth regulator Ethephon
Ethephon
Ethephon is the most widely used plant growth regulator.-History:It is manufacturered by Rhône-Poulenc and Jiangsu Anpon Electrochemicals Co. in China. Upon metabolism by the plant, it is converted into ethylene, a potent regulator of plant growth and maturity...

 is typically sprayed onto the fruit one week before harvest, developing ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

, which turns the fruit golden yellow. After cleaning and slicing they are typically canned in sugar syrup with added preservative.

A pineapple will never become any riper than it was when harvested, though a fully ripe pineapple can bruise and rot quickly.

The fruit itself is quite perishable and storage of it should be taken seriously. If it is stored at room temperature, it should be used within two days; however, if it is refrigerated, the time span is extended to five to seven days.

Usage in culture

In some cultures, the pineapple has become associated with the notion of welcome, an association bespoken by the use of pineapple motifs as carved decorations in woodworking.

Further reading

  • Francesca Beauman, 'The Pineapple', ISBN 0-7011-7699-7, publisher Chatto and Windus
  • Menzel, Christopher. "Tropical and Subtropical Fruit." Encyclopedia of Agricultural Science—Volume 4. Charles J. Arntzen. New York, NY: Academic Press, 1994. 380–382.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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