The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a well-known tropical fruit that resembles a large, green pine-cone, hence its name. The oval- to cylindrical-shaped fruit has a tough, waxy rind that may be dark green, yellow, orange-yellow, or reddish when the fruit is ripe.
The ﬂesh ranges from nearly white to yellow. In size, pineapples measure up to 12 inches/30 cm long and weigh l to 10 pounds/1/2 to 4‘/2 kilograms or more. The edible ﬂesh of the pineapple has a characteristics ﬂavor often described as a mixture of apple, strawberry, and peach all mixed together.
The pineapple is native to South America. When Columbus and other explorers brought pineapples back to Europe, attempts were made to cultivate the sweet, prized fruit until it was realized that the fruit’s need for a tropical climate inhibited its ability to ﬂourish in that region. By the end of the sixteenth century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced pineapples into many of their African, Asian, and South Paciﬁc colonies.
The United States ranks as one of the world’s leading suppliers of pineapples, although pineapples are produced only in Hawaii, to which they were introduced in the eighteenth century. Other countries that grow pineapples commercially include Thailand, the Philippines, China, Brazil, and Mexico. Nutritional Highlights Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. It is also a very good source of vitamin B 1. In addition, it is a good and glucose).
Health Benefits of Pineapple
Fresh pineapple is rich in bromelain, which is made up of a group of sulphur-containing pro-teolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes that not only aid digestion but can effectively reduce inﬂammation and swelling, as in carpal tunnel syndrome; break down mucus in respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia and bronchitis; and have even been used experimentally as an anticancer agent. A variety of inﬂammatory agents is inhibited by the action of bromelain.
In clinical human trials, bromelain has demonstrated signiﬁcant anti-inﬂammatory effects, reducing swelling in inﬂammatory conditions such as acute sinusitis, sore throat, arthritis, and gout and speeding recovery from injuries and surgery. To maximize bromelain’s anti-inﬂammatory effects, pineapple should be eaten alone between meals or its enzymes will be used up in digesting food.
Pineapple is also an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key antioxidant enzyme super-oxide dismutase requires manganese. Just one cup of fresh pineapple supplies 73.1 percent of the daily value of manganese.
How To Select And Store Pineapple
A ripe pineapple has a fruity, fragrant aroma, is more yellow than green in color, and is heavy for its size. Avoid selecting pineapple with decayed or mouldy spots, especially at the bottom stem scar. Pineapple can be left at room temperature for one or two days before serving.
While this will not make the fruit any sweeter, it will help it to become softer and more juicy. Yet, as pineapple is very perishable, you should still watch it closely during this period to ensure that it does not spoil. After two days, if you are still not ready to consume it, you should wrap it in a perforated plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for a maximum of three to ﬁve days.
Pineapple that has been cut up should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to one week. It will stay fresher and retain more taste and juiciness if you also place some liquid, preferably some juice from the pineapple, in the container. Although pineapple can be frozen, this process greatly affects its ﬂavor.
Tips For Preparing Pineapple
Pineapples must be washed thoroughly before cutting. Spray them with a solution of diluted additive-free soap or commercial produce wash and then scrub them under cool running water with a vegetable brush. After washing, the next ﬁrst step in preparing a pineapple is always to remove the crown and the base of the fruit with a knife.
Then, to peel the pineapple, place it base side down and carefully slice off the skin, carving out any remaining “eyes” with the tip of your knife. Or cut the pineapple into quarters, remove the core if desired, make slices into the quarters, cutting from the ﬂesh toward the rind, and then use your knife to separate the fruit from the rind.
Once the rind is removed, cut the pineapple into the desired shape and size.
Quick Serving Ideas Pineapple
- Eat pineapple (peeled and cut up) on its own or in fruit salads, or juice it. Pineapple is low in calories and makes a fantastic base for low-calorie fruit drinks, especially when mixed with berries.
- Pineapple is a wonderful addition to fruit salads, especially those containing other tropical fruits, such as papaya, kiwi, and papaya.
- Combine diced pineapple with chopped prawns, grated ginger, and a little olive oil. Season to taste and serve on a bed of romaine lettuce.
- Mix diced pineapple, tomatoes, and chili peppers for an easy-to-prepare salsa that is an exceptional complement to ﬁsh, such as halibut, tuna, and salmon.
- Drizzle maple syrup on pineapple slices and grill until brown. Serve plain or with yogurt.
- Chopped pineapple, grated fennel, and cashew nuts go well together and are especially delicious as a side dish to chicken.
- Pineapple goes well with virtually all vegetables and meat on the grill. Add some to your next shish kebab.
- Add pineapple to your next homemade pizza. This combination is a favorite with children and adults alike.
Pineapple is not associated with any signiﬁcant safety issues. It is a hypoallergenic food often used in allergy avoidance diets.