Sunday, March 29, 2009


Pineapple are native to southern Brazil and Paraguay (especially the Parana-Paraguay River) area where wild relatives occur, the pineapple was first domesticated by the Indians and carried by them up through South and Central America to Mexico and the West Indies long before the arrival of Europeans. Christopher Columbus and his shipmates saw the pineapple for the first time on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493 and then again in Panama in 1502. Top 10 countries cultivating pineapple are (1)Thailand 11%, (2)Philippines 11%, (3)Brazil 10%, (4)China 10%, (5)India 9%, (6)Nigeria 6%, (7)Costa Rica 5%, (8)Mexico 5%, (9)Indonesia 3%, (10)Kenya 4%.

Pineapples are seedless and have a thick, scale-like skin that is various shades of yellow, green, greenish brown, or reddish brown. Usually the yellowish flesh is fibrous, sweet, and juicy. The flesh near the base of the fruit is even sweeter and more tender, and has a darker color.

The pineapple fruit is not really a fruit at all but is a mass of individual berries fused to the central stalk. In other words, the pineapple is an example of a multiple fruit: multiple, spirally arranged flowers along the axis each produce a fleshy fruit that becomes pressed against the fruits of adjacent flowers, forming what appears to be a single fleshy fruit. This is why the fruit has leaves on top. Also the fruit of a pineapple are arranged in two interlocking spirals, eight spirals in one direction, thirteen in the other; each being formed a Fibonacci number. They are actually the continued growth of the stalk beyond where the berries are attached.

Pineapples are 15% sugar along with the malic and citric acids. A pineapple wine can be fermented in areas near where it is grown. Pineapples also contain bromelain enzyme, similar to pepsin which is a protein digesting and milk clotting enzyme. Bromelain is used commercially to tenderize meat and chill proof beer. Since the bromelain enzyme, pineapples are beleived to be good for our digestion.

Pineapple cultivation

The best soil for pineapple culture is a well drained, sandy loam with a high content of organic matter and it should be friable for a depth of at least 2 ft (60 cm), and pH range would be between 4.5 to 6.5 and the temperature remains warmest. If the soil that are not sufficiently acid then can be treated with sulfur to achieve the desired level. The plant cannot stand waterlogging and any drainage needs to be improved.

Nitrogen is essential to the increase of fruit size and total yield. Fruit weight can be considerably increased by the addition of magnesium. Fruit size and total yield have been enhanced by applying chelated iron with nitrogen; also, where chlorosis is conspicuous, by accompanying nitrogen with foliar sprays of 0.10% iron and manganese. The most common method of determining maturity is identifying the color change of the fruit exterior from green to yellow. Generally for canning purposes, fruits are allowed to reach a more advanced stage prior to harvest, about 1/2 to 3/4 yellow.

Food value (per l00 g of edible portion)

Moisture - 81.3-91.2 g
Ether Extract - 0.03 0.29 g
Crude Fiber - 0.3-0.6 g
Nitrogen - 0.038-0.098 g
Ash - 0.21-0.49 g
Calcium - 6.2 37.2 mg
Phosphorus - 6.6-11.9 mg
Iron - 0.27-1.05 mg
Carotene -0.003 0.055 mg
Thiamine - 0.048 0.138 mg
Riboflavin -0.011-0.04 mg
Niacin - 0.13-0.267 mg
Ascorbic Acid - 27.0-165.2 mg

Medicinal uses

Pineapple juice can be taken as a diuretic and to expedite labor, also as a gargle in cases of sore throat and as an antidote for seasickness. The flesh of very young (toxic) fruits is deliberately ingested to achieve abortion (a little with honey on 3 successive mornings); also to expel intestinal worms; and also used as a drastic treatment for venereal diseases.

The root and fruit are either eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory and as a proteolytic agent.

In Africa the dried, powdered root is used as a remedy for edema. The crushed rind can be applied on fractures and the rind decoction with rosemary is applied on hemorrhoids.

Indians in Panama using the leaf juice as a purgative, emmenagogue and vermifuge.

Pineapple varieties

Smooth Cayenne (Cayenne or Cayena Lisa) - This plant near freedom from spines except for the needle at the leaftip and the size 4 to 10 lbs (1.8 4.5 kg), cylindrical form, shallow eyes, orange rind, yellow flesh, low fiber, juiciness and rich mildly acid flavor. Mainly, it is prized for canning, having sufficient fiber as well as excellent flavor.

Hilo - Hilo is a variant of Smooth Cayenne. The plant is more compact, the fruit is smaller, weighs from 2 to 2 3/4 lbs (1-1 1/2 kg) and more cylindrical.

St. Michael - This is another strain of Smooth Cayenne and is the famous product of the Azores. The fruit weighs 5 to 6 lbs (2.25-2.75 kg), has a very small crown, a small core, is sweet with low acidity, and some regard it as insipid when fully ripe.

Giant Kew - This Variety pineapples are well-known in India, bears a large fruit averaging 6 lbs (2.75 kg), often up to 10 lbs (4.5 kg) and occasionall up to 22 lbs (10 kg). The core is large and its extraction results in too large a hole in canned slices.

Charlotte Rothschild - Charlotte Rothschild pineapples are almost similar or second to 'Giant Kew' in size in India, tapers toward the crown, is orange-yellow when ripe, aromatic, very juicy. The crop comes in early.

Baron Rothschild - is a smaller fruit 1 3/4 to 5 lbs (0.8-2 kg) in weight.

Perolera (Tachirense or Capachera or Motilona or Lebrija) - The plant is entirely smooth with no spine at the leaftip. The fruit is yellow, large-7 to 9 1bs (3-4 kg) and cylindrical.

Bumanguesa - The fruit is red or purple externally, cylindrical with square ends, shallow eyes, deep-yellow flesh, very slender core

Monte Lirio - The fruit is rounded, white-fleshed, with good aroma and flavor

Valera - It is a small to medium plant with long, narrow, spiny, purple green leaves. The fruit is conical cylindrical, weighing 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 lbs (1.5-2.5 kg); is purple outside with white flesh.

Valera Amarilla - he fruit is broad cylindrical and tall with a large crown; weighs 4 1/2 to 9 lbs (2-4 kg); is yellow externally with very deep eyes, about 72 to 88 in number. The flesh is pale-yellow and very sweet in flavor.

Valera Roja - is a small-to-medium plant with cylindrical fruit 1 1/2 to 2.2 lbs (0.6-1 kg) in weight, reddish externally, with 100 eyes. It has pale-yellow flesh.

Castilla - is a 'Red Spanish' strain grown in Colombia and El Salvador.

Cumanesa - is a medium-sized plant, very spiny, producing an oblong fruit with a large crown. It is orange-yellow externally; weighs 2 to 3 3/4 lbs (0.9-1.70 kg). and has yellowish-white flesh.

Morada - The plant is large, with long, narrow, purple-red leaves. The fruit is broad-cylindrical, purple-red externally, with white flesh.

Monte Oscuro - The fruit is barrel-shaped, large, weighing 6.6 lbs (3 kg); has 160-180 medium-deep eyes; is yellow outside with deep-yellow, fibrous flesh.

Abacaxi - The plant is spiny and disease-resistant. Leaves are bluish-green with red-purple tinge in the bud. The fruit weighs 2.2 to ll lbs (1-5 kg), is tall and straight-sided.

Sugarloaf - The leaves of the plants and crowns pull out easily. The fruit is more or less conical, sometimes round; not colorful; weighs 1 1/2 to 3 lbs (0.68-1.36 kg). Flesh is white to yellow, very sweet, juicy.

Brecheche - is a small fruit with small, spineless crown. Average weight is 1 1/2 to 2.2 lbs (0.7-1 kg). The fruit is yellow externally. Flesh is yellow, with little fiber, small core, very fragrant, very juicy.

Caicara - is a large fruit weighing 4 to 5 1/2 lbs (1.8-2.5 kg). with a large, spiny crown. It is cylindrical conical with deep eyes; yellow externally with white flesh, a little fiber, very juicy, with large core.

Congo Red - is a plant with bright red, has long lasting flowers. The fruit bends over and cracks in hot or dry weather. It weighs up to 5 lbs (2.25 kg), is waxy, and having yellow flesh of good flavor.

Panare - The fruit is bottle shaped, small, 1 to 1 l/2 lbs (0.45-0.70 kg), with small crown; ovate, with deep eyes; orange externally with deep yellow flesh; slightly fragrant, with little fiber and small core.

Mauritius (European Pine or Malacca Queen or Red Ceylon or Red Malacca) - The leaves are dark green with broad red central stripe and red spines on the margins. The fruit is small, 3 to 5 lbs (1.36-2.25 kg), yellow externally; has a thin core and very sweet flesh.

Singapore Red (Red Jamaica or Singapore Spanish or Singapore Queen or Singapore Common) - The leaves are usually all green but sometimes have a small reddish stripe near the margins; they are rarely spiny except at the tips. The fruits, cylindrical, reddish, with deep eyes, are small 3 1/2 to 5 lbs (1.6-2.25 kg) with slender core, fibrous, golden yellow flesh; insipid raw but valued for canning. The plant is highly disease-reistant and pest-resistant.

Queen - The fruit is conical, deep-yellow, with deep eyes; weighs 1 to 2 1/2 lbs (0.45-1.13 kg); is less fibrous than 'Smooth Cayenne', but more fragrant; it is juicy, of fine flavor with a small, tender core.

Natal Queen - The fruit weighs 1 1/2 to 2 lbs (0.75-0.9 kg).

MacGregor - The fruit is cylindrical, size medium to large, with firm flesh and flavor resembling 'Queen'.

James Queen - It has larger fruit with square shoulders.

Ripley (Ripley Queen) - The fruit weighs 3 to 6 lbs (1.36-2.7 kg); is pale copper externally; flesh is pale yellow, non fibrous, rich in sweet.

Alexandria - The fruit is conical, tender, with 'Ripley Queen' flavor.

Egyptian Queen - It was popular at first, later abandoned. The fruit weighs 2 to 4 lbs (0 9-1.8 kg).

Kallara Local - is a little known cultivar from India.