Pineapples are grown in many places around the world, but are found primarily in tropical regions. They are available all year round. In addition to its delicious taste, this tropical fruit contains many essential vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. Canned pineapple is also very popular, but it has a very high sugar content.
From Wikpiedia: “The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries, also called pineapples, and the most economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family.
Pineapples can be consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, or preserved. They are found in a wide array of cuisines. In addition to consumption, the pineapple leaves are used to produce the textile fiber piña in the Philippines, commonly used as the material for the men's barong Tagalog and women's baro't saya formal wear in the country. The fiber is also used as a component for wallpaper and other furnishings.”
“The flesh and juice of the pineapple are used in cuisines around the world. In many tropical countries, pineapple is prepared and sold on roadsides as a snack. It is sold whole or in halves with a stick inserted. Whole, cored slices with a cherry in the middle are a common garnish on hams in the West. Chunks of pineapple are used in desserts such as fruit salad, as well as in some savory dishes, including pizza toppings, or as a grilled ring on a hamburger. Crushed pineapple is used in yogurt, jam, sweets, and ice cream. The juice of the pineapple is served as a beverage, and it is also the main ingredient in cocktails such as the piña colada and in the drink tepache.”
“In a 100-gram serving, raw pineapple is an excellent source of manganese ... and vitamin C ..., but otherwise contains no essential nutrients in significant quantities.”
“Present in all parts of the pineapple plant, bromelain is a mixture of proteolytic enzymes. Bromelain is under preliminary research for a variety of clinical disorders, but to date has not been adequately defined for its effects in the human body. Bromelain may be unsafe for some users, such as in pregnancy, allergies, or anticoagulation therapy.
If having sufficient bromelain content, raw pineapple juice may be useful as a meat marinade and tenderizer. Although pineapple enzymes can interfere with the preparation of some foods or manufactured products, such as gelatin-based desserts or gel capsules, their proteolytic activity responsible for such properties may be degraded during cooking and canning. The quantity of bromelain in a typical serving of pineapple fruit is probably not significant, but specific extraction can yield sufficient quantities for domestic and industrial processing.
The bromelain content of raw pineapple is responsible for the sore mouth feeling often experienced when eating it, due to the enzymes breaking down the proteins of sensitive tissues in the mouth. Also, raphides, needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate that occur in pineapple fruits and leaves, likely cause microabrasions, contributing to mouth discomfort.”
“In 2014, world production was 25.4 million tonnes, a 2% increase over 2013 totals. The top countries were led by Costa Rica with 11% of global production.”
“Seed formation needs pollination, but the presence of seeds harms the quality of the fruit. In Hawaii, where pineapple is cultivated on an agricultural scale, importation of hummingbirds is prohibited for this reason.”
“After bananas and citrus fruits, pineapple is the most important tropical fruit. Thailand and the Philippines are among the top producers worldwide.*”
The enzymes in raw pineapple prevent gelatin desserts from setting and create a bitter taste when raw pineapple is mixed with dairy products. Both of these reactions can be prevented by heating the pineapple before using.
When stored in the refrigerator, pineapple turns brown quickly.
Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry