Characteristics of pineapple
- Rich in manganese;
- Contains bromelain;
- Rich in fiber;
- Promotes blood circulation;
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Nutritional and caloric values of pineapple
For 100 g of raw pineapple:
|Dietary fiber||1.2 g|
|Beta carotene||66.9 µg|
|Vitamin C||46.1 mg|
|Vitamin B1 or Thiamine||0.056 mg|
|Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin||0.033 mg|
|Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacin||0.31 mg|
|Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid||0.17 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.052 mg|
|Vitamin B9 or Total Folate||19.6 µg|
Pineapple is moisturizing, refreshing due to its very high water content (85.5%). Its caloric value is average (54.4 kcal / 100 g) mainly due to its carbohydrates. Its vitamin C and beta-carotene content are very interesting because it is protected by its thick bark. Few minerals except potassium which displays an interesting rate.
The benefits of pineapple: why eat them?
Bromelain is recognized for its anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, antiplatelet and fibrinolytic properties (helping to dissolve blood clots). Some studies have shown that, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, bromelain, which is very present in pineapple, could prove to be a safe alternative treatment against osteoarthritis.
Very good antioxidant power
Polyphenols and flavonoids, phenolic compounds found in plants, have antioxidant properties. They can help prevent the onset of several diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease and various chronic diseases) by neutralizing free radicals in the body.
Source of manganese and copper
Fresh pineapple and pineapple juice are excellent sources of manganese. Manganese acts as a cofactor of several enzymes that facilitate a dozen different metabolic processes. It also participates in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals.
Pineapple (fresh, canned or in juice) is a source of copper. As a component of several enzymes, copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen (a protein used for the structure and repair of tissues) in the body. Several copper-containing enzymes also help in the body’s defense against free radicals.
Source of vitamin C
Fresh pineapple is a good source of vitamin C. Canned pineapple and pineapple juice are sources of this vitamin. Vitamin C has anti-oxidant properties and may be partly responsible for the beneficial effects associated with high consumption of fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C in the blood helps reduce oxidation and inflammation in the body, a protective effect against the appearance of certain degenerative diseases associated with aging.
Rich in vitamin B1 and B6
Pineapple (fresh, canned or in juice) is a source of vitamin B1. Also called thiamine, vitamin B1 is part of a coenzyme necessary for the production of energy, mainly from the carbohydrates that we ingest. It also participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and promotes normal growth.
Pineapple (fresh, canned or in juice) is a source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is part of coenzymes involved in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids as well as in the synthesis (manufacture) of neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It also helps in the production of red blood cells and allows them to carry more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also necessary for the conversion of glycogen into glucose and it contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. Finally, this vitamin plays a role in the formation of certain components of nerve cells and in the modulation of hormone receptors.
Rich in fiber
Pineapple is rich in fibers which stimulate intestinal transit and help to improve satiety.
A word from the nutritionist
Pineapple has a beneficial effect on the digestion of proteins and not fats contrary to popular belief thanks to the bromelain (enzyme) it contains.
How to choose the right pineapple?
When harvested, the pineapple is composed of a thick rind whose color ranges from green to brown through pink. This bark contains a sweet yellow flesh. It is topped with a crown of green leaves. A pineapple weighs an average of 1.8 kg.
Food identity card
- Type: fruit;
- Family: Bromeliad;
- Origin: South America;
- Season: October to April;
- Yellow color ;
- Flavor: sweet.
Characteristics of pineapple
The color of the rind is not necessarily a good clue: a fruit with a green rind can be perfectly ripe. The scent of a pineapple is a good indicator of its degree of ripeness and its sugar content: it should be full and fruity, but not too pronounced, a likely sign of the start of fermentation.
The different varieties of pineapple
There are over a hundred varieties of pineapple. In commerce, there are generally five varieties: Victoria, Queen, Caraibe, Abacaxi and Cayenne. The different varieties are distinguished by their size, the color of the rind and the flavor of their flesh.
Know how to buy it
Even in size, choose the heaviest fruits, whose leaves are firm, fresh and a beautiful dark green. Avoid those that appear old, dry, damaged, or have soft tissue, or those with brown leaves.
It is best to avoid canned fruits, drinks and juices when they contain large amounts of added sugar.
In the refrigerator: pineapple can be stored for 1 or 2 days at room temperature, but it is best to keep it in the refrigerator (up to 4 or 5 days). It is put in a perforated plastic bag in the fruit and vegetable drawer. Peeled and cut into pieces, it will keep for a few days in an airtight container.
In the freezer: peel it, remove the core and cut it into pieces or mash it up and put it in freezer bags. It is recommended not to freeze it for more than 3 months, at the risk of losing its flavor.
How to peel and cut pineapple. Remove the crown of leaves and the base of the fruit. Place the fruit vertically on a work surface. Peel it from top to bottom with a knife, then cut it into slices. Cut the heart out with a cookie cutter or knife.
How to cook it? How to match it?
- Serve it plain;
- Milk or smoothie. Blender milk (cow, goat, soy or almond) or yogurt with a banana, pineapple and ice cubes;
- Fruit Skewers. Pineapple, orange, grape, apple, pear, etc;
- salsa. Mix diced pineapple with chopped red pepper, jalapeño, cilantro leaves and onion. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and serve with corn chips or grilled fish;
- Cold soup. Dice pineapple, cucumber, tomato, and slice a sweet onion. Mix the ingredients and add a vinaigrette flavored with fresh basil. Cool before serving;
- North-south salad. Combine diced pineapple, orange sections and various greens (lettuce, chicory, lamb’s lettuce or mesclun). Add pieces of cheese and walnut kernels. Season with a balsamic vinegar sauce garnished with orange zest;
- The sweet flavor of pineapple can enhance a simple carrot and coleslaw salad. More surprising: the salad of spinach, ricotta cheese and diced pineapple, drizzled with a vinaigrette;
- In sorbets, creams and frozen yogurts, as well as in pies, cakes and puddings. For example, garnish a coconut pie mix with grilled pineapple rings and bake in the oven;
- Dip pieces of pineapple in melted chocolate. Let cool and serve with a cheese with personality, such as Roquefort or aged goat cheese baked in the oven;
- If we traditionally associate pineapple with pork (especially ham), it is because its enzyme (bromelain) has the effect of tenderizing it and facilitating digestion. Grill pineapple slices with pork tenderloin or chops or garnish the surface of a roast before placing in the oven;
- Pineapple and three cheese pizza. Top a pizza crust with mozzarella cheese. Add diced drained pineapple, cheddar cheese, black olives and feta. Season with oregano and bake in the oven;
- Skewers. Thread pieces of pineapple onto skewers with pieces of salmon, pepper and apple, previously marinated for 2 hours in a lemon vinaigrette. Serve over rice;
- Mexican stir-fry. Sauté thin strips of peppers and chicken breast, until the poultry is cooked. Add pineapple cubes and cooked black beans. Reheat, remove from heat and add the salsa of your choice. Top tortillas with this preparation, adding a little grated cheese if desired;
- In Malaysia, it is added to curries of vegetables, meat or fish. The shrimp curry with coconut milk, chili paste, fish sauce and diced pineapple is particularly tasty;
- Polynesian puffed omelet. Brown diced pineapple in a little butter. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and incorporate the whisked whites. Add the eggs to the pineapple, cook the omelet for a few minutes, fold it and finish baking in the oven. In the traditional recipe, sprinkle with a little rum and flambé when serving.
Contraindications and allergies to pineapple
Consumption of pineapple causes the release of histamine in the body. This is also the case with other foods, including strawberries and tomatoes. In some people, this can cause mild reactions, such as hives, to develop. It is important to note that these reactions are not allergies, but rather a food intolerance. Stopping consumption of the food stops the symptoms. True pineapple allergy is rather rare, although cases have been observed. Cross reactions are also possible with latex and pollen. People allergic to these 2 compounds may be hypersensitive to pineapple (as well as to other fruits, such as kiwi and banana), and vice versa. People intolerant or allergic to pineapple should avoid the consumption of the fruit, but also taking bromelain supplements. It is recommended to consult an allergist in order to determine the cause of the reactions to certain foods as well as the precautions to be taken.
History of pineapple
The term “ananas” first appeared in the French language in 1544. It comes from the Spanish ananas, which borrowed it from the word nana in Tupi-Guarani (an indigenous language of Brazil) which means “exquisite fruit”.
What is its origin ?
Pineapple is native to Paraguay and southern Brazil. It may have been domesticated thousands of years ago by the Tupi-Guarani Indians. These would have disseminated it throughout South and Central America, while the Caribbean Indians, excellent navigators, established it in Guadeloupe and the other Caribbean islands. Christopher Columbus discovered the fruit in 1493. When he landed in America, cultivated pineapple was distinguished from wild pineapple by many characteristics. The Indians were already very familiar with the life cycle and cultivation of this fruit. Since that time, research carried out on pineapple by Europeans and Americans has not resulted in any appreciable improvement in size, flavor, uniformity, etc.
The Spanish and Portuguese introduced pineapple to Spain, the Philippines, China, Africa and India. From the end of the 16th century, it was cultivated in almost all of the tropical regions of the world. The temperate countries of Europe tried to produce it in greenhouses, but the experiment proved to be unprofitable. Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil, China, India and Nigeria are the world’s main producers of pineapples.
Pineapple: several fruits in one
Botanically speaking, pineapple is not a fruit, but a multitude of berries that formed after the flowers merged on the cob. Each of the “eyes” or bulges of the bark constitutes a berry, therefore a fruit.
There are a few wild species of pineapple. Two of them (A. bracteatus and A. fritzmuelleri) are said to be the ancestors of the cultivated species, but their fruit is not edible. Of the many cultivars that have been selected, only a few are commercially grown. The cultivar “Smooth Cayenne” is by far the most widespread (it represents 70% of world production and 95% of processing products). However, the cultivar “Hawaian Gold”, selected by the Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii, is gaining ground in our markets. Sweeter and less acidic than “Smooth Cayenne”, it is particularly suitable for the consumption of fresh fruit.
Pineapple is also cultivated for its richness in bromelain. In addition to its therapeutic uses (see our bromelain sheet), this enzyme has many industrial uses ranging from tenderizing meat to tanning leather, including stabilizing latex paints. In addition, from the leaves of certain varieties selected for this purpose, fibers are obtained for making cordage, nets, baskets, as well as fine papers and textiles.