Pineapple is a delicious and nutritious fruit with a juicy sweet flavor. It is native to the tropics and grows to a height of 1.2 meters. Contrary to other tropical fruit, the pineapple takes a long time to mature. Depending on variety, it may take 12-14 months to flower and another 6 - 8 months to develop into a ripe fruit. Its stiff, spikey leaves grow out from a basal rosette from where the white or purple flowers develop.
As each flower matures into a small fruit, the entire mass of the individual fruits fuse together into the large structure which we have come to appreciate as a pineapple. Each fruitlet can still be identified as an "eye". The fruit size varies from 1 - 4 kg, depending on variety.
To ensure that the harvested pineapples are “ready-to-eat”, the sugar acid ratio is tested in the field to determine the optimum ripeness.
Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. It also contains vitamin B1, vitamin B6, copper and dietary fiber.
Pineapple contains micro-nutrients that experts believe protect against cancer and are beneficial to the heart. The ripe pineapple has diuretic properties. Pineapple juices relieve intestinal disorders, stimulate the kidneys and aid in removing toxic elements from the body.
Pineapple contains a mixture of enzymes called bromelain. Bromelain can help reduce inflammation in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Another anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain is blocking the production of kinins. The production of kinins occur during inflammation, causing pain and increasing swelling. Thus the consumption of pineapple can accelerate the healing of wounds due to injury or surgery.
If eaten during or after meals, the enzymes will be utilized for digesting food.
Serving size: 100 grams
Protein: 0.5 gram
Fat: 0.1 grams
Carbohydrate: 9.5 grams
Dietary Fiber :1.3 grams
Unlike other fruit, pineapple does not get sweeter after harvest. They are ready-to-eat:
When you pick up your pineapple, it should be plump and heavy for its size. Select one that is firm and well shaped. The surface should give slightly when you push on it gently. The fruit should be brightly colored, with fresh-looking, deep-green leaves.
Smell the stem end of the fruit to make sure it has a pleasantly pineapple odor. Reject fruits that have a strong, sweet odor, they may be overripe. Discard any fruit with bruises, brown leaves or moldy spots and beware of soft spots that cave in under your touch.A ripe, whole pineapple will stay fresh if stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to five days. Cut pineapple stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Be sure to core the pineapple as the rough center may irritate the tongue and mouth.