December 12, 2013
FEATURED PRODUCT: Pineapple Puree
Although thought to have originated in South America, pineapples were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island that
came to be known as Guadalupe. When Columbus and other discovers brought pineapples back to Europe, attempts were made to cultivate the
sweet, prized fruit until it was realized that the fruit's need for a tropical climate inhibited its ability to flourish in this region.
By the end of the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced pineapples into many of their Asian, African and South
Pacific colonies, countries in which the pineapple is still being grown today.
Since pineapples are very perishable, and modes of transportation to bring them stateside from the Caribbean Islands were relatively
slow centuries ago, fresh pineapples were a rarity that became coveted by the early American colonists. While glazed, sugar-coated
pineapples were a luxurious treat, it was the fresh pineapple itself that became the sought after true symbol of prestige and social
class. In fact, the pineapple, because of its rarity and expense, was such a status item in those times that all a party hostess had
to do was to display the fruit as part of a decorative centerpiece, and she would be awarded more than just a modicum of social awe and recognition.
In the 18th century, pineapples began to be cultivated in Hawaii, the only state in the U.S. in which they are still grown. In
addition to Hawaii, which is primarily a fresh fruit now and no industrial production, other countries that commercially grow
pineapples include Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Costa Rica, China, Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico, among others.
Some African countries are also becoming a source for pineapples.
Pineapple, Ananas comosus, belongs to the Bromeliaceae family, from which one of its most important health-promoting
compounds, the enzyme bromelain, was named. The Spanish name for pineapple, pina, and the root of its English name, reflects
the fruit's visual similarity to the pinecone.
Pineapples are actually not just one fruit but a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets fuse together around a central
core. Each fruitlet can be identified by an "eye," the rough spiny marking on the pineapple's surface.
Pineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves. The
fibrous flesh of pineapple is yellow in color and has a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. The
area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture.
Pineapples can be used in a multitude or food and beverage applications, including beverages, pastries, dairy products, confections,
fruit ices and in cosmetics. Pineapple is truly a global flavor today. It is recognizably the 2nd most popular tropical fruit in the USA today.
Pineapple is an excellent source the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in
energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals
produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. Just one cup of fresh
pineapple supplies 128.0% of the DV for this very important trace mineral. In addition to manganese, pineapple is a good source
of thiamin, a B vitamin that acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions central to energy production.
In addition to the manganese content, Pineapples contribute a unique source of Bromelains and Vitamin C, one of the most
important antioxidants in nature. Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants found in food and the primary water-soluble
antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C travels through the body neutralizing any free radicals with which it comes into contact
in the aqueous environments in the body both inside and outside cells.
Bromelains contribute anti inflammatory and digestion aid benefits, as a complex enzyme mixture of protein digesting enzymes.
Encore Fruit Marketing can provide an excellent source of pineapple puree to help consumer products deliver one of the 5 A Day
fruit servings, with high Vitamin C content and a refreshing tropical pineapple flavor.
Pineapple puree is carefully processed from fresh, ripened pineapples to provide the essential flavor and nutrition , in a convenient, ready
to use ingredient form for processed beverage and food applications. Pineapple puree is an excellent ingredient to add a fruit
serving to your retail label for beverages, dairy desserts, pastries, sauces, jellies and other processed foods like nutrition bars and snacks.
Contact Encore Fruit Marketing today for product samples and information on pineapple puree at www.encorefruit.com or
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