Pineapple

Pineapples (Ananas comosus, of the family Bromeliaceae) are native to tropical South America and are grown in nearly all tropical areas. The plant is a rosette of long, stiff, fleshy leaves that produces a short flower stem. The individual fruitlets fuse to produce a compound fruit. Despite its economic importance, only one cultivar is of commercial importance. The cultivar Smooth Cayenne comprises 95% of the worldwide crop. The major processed products are solid pack (slices, chunks, and tidbits), crushed (dices), and juice. The fruits are handled by a machine called a ginaca, which processes about 100 pineapples a minute into eight fractions: the cylinder, core, skin, eradicator meat from the skin, crown end, eradicator meat from the crown end, butt end, and eradicator meat from the butt end. The cylinder is used to make the high-value products: slices, chunks, tidbits, and crushed pineapple. The eradicator fractions and the core are used to make juice. The skin, crown end, and butt end are used to make by-products. The mixture may be pressed to make mill juice, which can be added to the solid pack or used to dissolve sugar to make a syrup for addition to the solid pack. The residue from the pressing operation is sold as cattle feed. The mill juice can also be used as a sugar source for the production of alcohol or vinegar. Recent research indicates that mill juice can be purified sufficiently to allow the product to compete with grape juice as a sugar base for fruit beverages. Solid pack pineapple, crushed pineapple, and pineapple juice are usually preserved by thermal treatment (5). Pineapples are often consumed raw; many people consider the pineapple to be the most palatable fruit of all (2). They are often used as flavorful ingredients for juice products, jams, jellies, preserves, dairy products, and confections. The pineapple plant is also the source of the proteolytic enzyme bromelin.

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