Ananas comosus popularly known as pineapple is a tropical plant that consists of edible multiple fruits with coalesced berries. It belongs to the plant family of Bromeliaceae and is mostly cultivated from a crown by cutting of the fruit. The word "pineapple" was first used in 1398, when it was used to demonstrate the reproductive organs of conifer trees otherwise known as pine cones. Pineapples are cylindrical in shape with a scaly brown, yellow or green skin and a crown of spiny green leaves. The base part of the fruit contains more sugar hence tends to be a lot sweeter than the upper part.
It was discovered in America by European explorers who gave it the name pineapple due to its resemblance with a pine cone. The growing period takes place within twenty to twenty-four months while the fruiting takes place in six months. Pineapples are eaten fresh, juiced, preserved or cooked especially for various cuisines. Pineapple is very healthy & refreshing, especially when combined with fruit salads.
Raji et., al. (2012) suggest that the presence of essential oils, organic acids and esters in the pineapple pulp results to the presence of its flavours, while it’s sugar content to a larger extent, depends on the ripeness and acidity content. Pineapple can be consumed in various forms but whichever one wants to do so, it is ideal to firstly remove the crown, peel and the base of the fruit with a knife. However pineapple peels can be used as sweeteners for local drinks and juices.
Pineapple is a rich source of magnesium which is a vital cofactor in enzymes necessary for energy production and anti-oxidation process (Maurer 2001). Other key elements derived from pineapple are; Vitamin B1, B6, C, folate, pantothenic acid and fibre.
Peeled pineapple should be preserved in the refrigerator or in an airtight container so as to retain its freshness, taste and juiciness. It is advisable not to store pineapples in the freezers as this process not only affects its flavour & taste but also makes it soggy. It can be left at room temperature for three days before serving so as to make it softer and juicier. Because it is highly perishable, it is recommended not to leave it unattended for a long time outside the fridge so as to retain its freshness.
Maurer H.R. (2001) Bromelain Biochemistry, Pharmacology & Medical Use. Cell Mol Life Science, 58(9) pp. 1236-42.
Raji, Y. O., Jibril, M., Misau, I. M., Danjuma, B. Y. (2012) Production of Vinegar from Pineapple Peel, International Journal of Advanced Scientific Research & Technology, Issue 2, Vol. 3. p. 657.