pineapple juice

Pineapple

[pahy-nap-uhl]
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the common name for an edible tropical plant and also its fruit It is native to the southern part of Brazil, and Paraguay. This herbaceous perennial plant plant grows to (1–1.5 m) tall with 30 or more trough-shaped and pointed leaves 30–100 cm long, surrounding a thick stem. 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. Pineapple is commonly used in desserts and other types of fruit dishes, or on its own. Pineapples are the only bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation. It is one of the most commercially important plants which carry out CAM photosynthesis.

Etymology

The name pineapple in English comes from the similarity of the fruit to a pine cone. The word was first recorded in 1398, where originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit that grows on trees, they called them "pineapples" (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because they resembled what are now known as pine cones. The term "pine cone" was first recorded in 1694 to replace the original meaning of "pineapple". In the scientific binomial Ananas comosus, ananas, the original name of the fruit, comes from the Tupi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) word for pine nanas, as recorded by André Thevenet in 1555 and comosus means "tufted" and refers to the stem of the fruit. Other members of the Ananas genus are often called pine as well by laymen.

In Spanish pineapples are called ananá ("ananás", in Spain) or piña, principally in Hispanic American countries. (see the piña colada drink). Many European languages, including Finnish, Polish, German, French, Greek, Italian, Serbian, Norwegian, Catalan, Lithuanian, Russian, Danish and Swedish use the native term ananas. A large, sweet pineapple grown especially in Brazil is called abacaxi (/abaka'ʃiː/). In Tamil (Indian Ancient Language) is called "Annachi Pazham". In Bengali, pineapples are called "anarosh" and in Malayalam is it known "Kaitha Chakka". In Malay, pineapple is known as "nanas" or "nenas".

Botany

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

The leaves of the cultivar 'Smooth Cayenne' mostly lack spines except at the leaf tip, but the cultivars 'Spanish' and 'Queen' have large spines along the leaf margins.

The natural (or most common) pollinator of the pineapple is the hummingbird. Pollination is required for seed formation; the presence of seeds negatively affects the quality of the fruit. In Hawaii, where pineapple is cultivated on an agricultural scale, importation of hummingbirds is prohibited for this reason.

Wild pineapples

Certain bat-pollinated wild pineapples, members of the bromeliad family, do the exact opposite of most flowers by opening their flowers at night and closing them during the day.

Nutrition

Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which digests food by breaking down protein. Pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. The enzymes in pineapples can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly or other gelatin-based desserts. The bromelain breaks down in the canning process, thus canned pineapple can generally be used with gelatin. These enzymes can be hazardous to someone suffering from certain protein deficiencies or disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Pineapples should also not be consumed by those with Hemophilia or by those with kidney or liver disease, as it may reduce the time taken to coagulate a consumer's blood.

Consumers of pineapple have claimed that pineapple has benefits for some intestinal disorders; others claim that it helps to induce childbirth when a baby is overdue.

Pineapple is a good source of manganese (91 %DV in a 1 cup serving), as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C (94 %DV in a 1 cup serving) and Vitamin B1 (8 %DV in a 1 cup serving).

History

The natives of southern Brazil and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout south America and it eventually reached the Caribbean. Columbus discovered it in the Indies and brought it back with him to Europe. The Spanish introduced it into the Philippines, Hawaii (introduced in the early 19th century, first commercial plantation 1886), Zimbabwe and Guam. The fruit was successfully cultivated in European hothouses, and pineapple pits, beginning in 1720. Commonly grown cultivars include 'Red Spanish', 'Hilo', 'Smooth Cayenne', 'St. Michael', 'Kona Sugarloaf', 'Natal Queen', and 'Pernambuco'.

The pineapple was introduced to Hawaii in 1813, canned Pineapple were sold canned by 1892. Pineapple cultivation by U.S. companies began in the early 1900s on Hawaii {citation needed}. James Dole started a pineapple plantation in Hawaii in the year 1900. The companies Dole and Del Monte began growing pineapple on the island of Oahu in 1901 and 1917, respectively. Maui Pineapple Company began pineapple cultivation on the island of Maui 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. Del Monte took 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 of the now-defunct Pineapple Research Institute in Hawaii, which conducted research on behalf of Del Monte, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, and Dole.

Cultivation

Southeast Asia dominates world production: in 2001 Thailand produced 1.979 million tons, the Philippines 1.618 million tons while in the Americas, Brazil 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, 322,000 tons; Côte d'Ivoire, 188,000 tons; and the Philippines, 135,000 tons.

At one time, most canned and fresh pineapples came from the cultivar 'Smooth Cayenne'. 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 artificially induced 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 fruit-bearing plant will grow in a manner similar to that of a potato or onion, which will sprout from a cutting. Alternatively, if left alone, the plant will eventually fall to one side due to the weight of the fruit, and a new plant will grow out of the top of the pineapple.

Cultivars

  • '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.
  • '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.
  • '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.
  • '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 stores. Both 73-114 and 73-50 are of this cultivar.

Ethno-medical usage

The root and fruit are either eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory and as a proteolytic agent. It is traditionally used as an antihelminthic agent in the Philippines.

A root decoction is used to treat diarrhea.

Pests and diseases

Pineapples are subject to a variety of diseases, the most serious of which is wilt disease vectored by mealybugs. The mealybugs are generally found on the surface of pineapples, but can also be found inside the closed blossom cups. Other diseases include pink disease, bacterial heart rot, and anthracnose.

Storage and transport

Fresh pineapple is often somewhat expensive as the tropical fruit is delicate and difficult to ship. Pineapples can ripen after harvest, but require certain temperatures for this process to occur. Like bananas, they are chill-sensitive and should not be stored in the refrigerator. They will, however, ripen if left outside of a refrigerator. The ripening of pineapples can be rather difficult as they will not ripen for some time and in a day or two become over-ripe, therefore, pineapples are most widely available canned. To tell if a pineapple is ripe at a grocery store, shoppers should make sure the "eyes," or markings on the fruit, are uniform in size from top to bottom.

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.
  • Many people bring a pineapple as a gift when meeting someone for the first time.
  • A metal pineapple is atop the cup given to the winner of the Wimbledon singles championship

Usage in pop culture

On the television show Psych, a pineapple was part of an ad-libbed line in the pilot episode by actor James Roday, who portrays the show's main character Shawn Spencer. The pineapple was such a big hit that pineapples have appeared in nearly every episode since that time, and also are featured on the show's website and official merchandise. Also, in the third season of the show, viewers can win Psych merchandise by being the first to spot a hidden pineapple in each episode and submit its location on the website.

In the popular kids' T.V. series "SpongeBob SquarePants," the star, SpongeBob SquarePants, lives in a pineapple.

A talking pineapple was one of the main characters in a French Canadian television series for kids called 'Telefrancais'. His name was, appropriately, Ananas, which means 'Pineapple' in French.

References

External links

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