PINEAPPLE (Ananas comosus)

Bromeliaceae


Common Names: Pineapple, Ananas, Nanas, Pina.


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Kingdom:
Plantae
(unranked):
Angiosperms
(unranked):
Monocots
(unranked):
Commelinids
Order:
Poales
Family:
Bromeliaceae
Subfamily:
Bromelioideae
Genus:
Ananas
Species:
A. comosus


Family:The Bromeliaceae family consists of about 3,200 species which are all native to the tropical Americans, but one can be found in tropical Africa. They are very unique because they are the only family that has inferior ovaries. These unique inferior ovaries is what allows you to tell they are part of the Bromeliaceae family. This family consists of all monocot flowering plants. This family tolerates dry climates and they have flowerswith 3 sepals, 3 petals and 6 stamen. Their leaves are stiff for the most part and strap shaped so they are able to trap water at the base. The fruit of this family is usually a capsule or berry. Pineapples themselves are not just one fruit but a multiple fruit, meaning many flowers are combined whose individuals fruitlets fuse together around one central core. Each of these fruitlets is identified by an eye, which is the rough marking on the outside of the pineapple.

2 main forms divide this family: epyphytes and terrestrial plants. The epyphytes grow on the branches and trunks of other trees and plants. They use their roots to absorb nutrients from the air around them. Terrestrial plants usually lack a stem, but have slender rigid leaves with sharp spines on the tips. Most of the leaves in this family are concave in order for the water to pool down at the base.

The Aechmea, also in the Bromeliaceae family, have these inferior ovaries that pineapples have, and they produce berries. The species, Aechmea fasciata, has long red bracts which overtake the small blue flowers they produce. They have broad leaves with white stripes as well.



Distribution

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Pineapple is most commonly found in warmer regions, so only Florida in the United States and then Costa Rice, Ecuador, Belgium, The

Philippines, and a couple other tropical areas.



Human Use:
Pineapple is a great fruit today that most everyone finds enjoyable because of its sweet and exotic flavor. It is also considered to be one of the most healthy foods available today. It is helpful in easing indigestion, arthritis or sinusitis. The juice of the pineapple helps to get rid of intestinal worms. Pineapple is also high in manganese which is a mineral that is essential to develop strong bones and tissue. Just one cup of fresh pineapple will give a person 75% of the recommended daily amount. Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is also key to a pineapple. It breaks down protein which is why it is known to help in digestion, while also breaking down fatty acids to help aid in heart disease. Fresh pineapple is high in Vitamin C but due to the bromelain, it is able to reduce mucus in one's throat. So the next time you have a cold with a cough, eat some pineapple. Most individuals can eat it because it has a very low risk for allergies. Pineapple is also known to help lessen the amount of blood clots forming. So those at risk for blood clots, this is a valuable dietary supplement.

Other uses of pineapple are used for application topically as an anti-inflammatory. The root and fruit are known to be eaten but also used as this topical substance. The bromelain in pineapple has been seen to prevent against cancer mechanisms.

Pineapple is also used a lot for culinary reasons. The flesh and juice are used in cuisines all around the world today. In most of the tropical countries, pineapple can be seen being sold on the side of the road already prepared. Chunks of pineapple are used in desserts, savory dishes, and salads. Crushed pineapple is used in jams, ice cream, yogurt, and other sweets. The juice of the pineapple on the other hand, is served in all sorts of beverages like juices and cocktails, like the Pina colada. The pineapple juice can also be used to make great meat marinade and tenderizer.

Color Is Important!
The bright yellow color associated with the pineapple makes it a GREAT source of nutrition for anyone. In one cup serving of raw pineapple, a person can get 75% daily value of manganese and 131% daily value of Vitamin C. This comes from it's stem which contains bromelain, breaking down proteins like mentioned before. It also contains Vitamin A which has a lot of antioxidant properties, contributing to healthy skin and vision.


How to core, cut, prepare, and cook a pineapple

Pineapples can be cut and prepared in a variety of different ways but the first step is to always remove the crown and base first. Then you can either peel the skin off if you want it to be into bite size pieces or you don't have to peel the skin off if it is going to be eaten like a watermelon slice. If you want to save the fruit over a few days once it is cut, not a problem! It has been proven that once cut up, pineapple contains its same nutritional value up to 6 days later. Cut pineapple into cubes for a fruit salad, put as toppings on yogurt, use the juice as a marinade or just eat it plain!




Resources:
"PINEAPPLE." Fruit Facts. California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., 1996. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/pineapple.html>.

"Pineapple Nutrition." Pineapple Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://pineapplenutrition.org/>.

"Pineapple." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Apr. 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple>.

"Pineapple." The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation, 2001. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice>.

Morton, Julia F. "Pineapple." Fruits of Warm Climates. N.p.: n.p., 1987. 18-28.Pineapple. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/pineapple.html>.

Milne, Lorus and Margery. Living Plants of the World. Random House Inc., New York.
Wit, H.C.D. Plants of the World: The Higher Plants II. Pages 252-255. E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., New York. 1967.