Not that you need any extra reason to like pineapples even more, but just in case: 14 interesting things that you may not have known about our favorite fruit:
1. A pineapple is neither a pine nor an apple, but a fruit consisting of many berries that have grown together.
2. This also means that Pineapples are not a single fruit, but a group of berries that have fused together. The technical term for this is a “multiple fruit” or a “collective fruit”. You can see a 1 minute time lapse of a pineapple growing from many berries into one pineapple in the video directly below this list.
3. The scientific name of a pineapple is Ananas comosus. This word comes from the Tupiwords “nanas” (which means pine) and “comosus” (which means tufted). Tupi is the language used by the Tupi people, who are indigenous people of Brazil.
4. In Hawaiian, a pineapple is called “hala kahiki”. This is because the Hawaiians thought the pineapple resembled the “Hala” fruit. “Kahiki” means foreign, hence pineapples became “foreign Hala’s in Hawaiʻi.
5. Pineapples were historically very useful on long boat trips. Eating pineapple prevented scurvy, and pineapple juice mixed with sand is a great cleaning agent for boats.
6. Pineapples can “eat you back”! Pineapples contain an enzyme called “bromelain”. This enzyme breaks down proteins in your mouth. So when you eat a pineapple, it is eating you back. Once the bromelain enters your stomach the enzymes are broken down, so you don’t need to worry about being eaten inside-out. Actually, pineapples have many medicinal qualities! [source]. Fun additional fact: workers on pineapple fields often don’t have fingerprints, which could be caused by this enzyme!
7. Pollination of pineapples is required for seed formation, but the presence of seeds has a negative effect on the quality of the fruit. Possible pollinators for Pineapples are honey bees, pineapple bees, and Hummingbirds. In Hawaiʻi, the import of hummingbirds is prohibited for this reason.
8. It can take more than two years for a pineapple plant to produce a single pineapple fruit.
9. Pineapple plants can grow from seeds of through vegetative reproduction (cloning). Cloning is by far the most popular method to grow new pineapples. To clone a pineapple you can use four different parts of the plant: the crowns, slips, suckers, and shoots. The crown is the very top of the pineapple fruit. Slips are the leafy branches that are attached directly below the fruit. The suckers and shoots both originate from near the bottom of the stem.
10. Have a look here if you want to know how you can grow a pineapple at home, or check out the video below this list by Mark from Self sufficient Me
11. Do you want to grow pineapples yourself? Then keep in mind that altitude matters! In Hawai’i, the best pineapples in terms of sugar content and sugar-acid balance grow at an elevation of ≈300 m.
12. Pineapples can be tricked into flowering using smoke! This was first discovered on the Azores Islands using smoke. Later research showed the component in smoke responsible for the flowering to be ethylene. Now, forced flowering of pineapples is standard practice on Hawaiʻi because it allows the fruits to be produced throughout the year.
13. Pineapple production on Hawaiʻi has severely decreased in the past few decades. Harvest volume now is only a few % of the peak rate it once was 🙁
14. The last pineapple cannery on Hawaiʻi closed in 2006 and now only fresh pineapples are exported. This is possible because of recent advancements in pineapple cultivation that have produced sweeter pineapples that are easier to transport (the so-called ‘MD-2’ pineapple cultivar).
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