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Pineapple

Pineapple[1]Pineapple

The pineapple is technically not a single fruit, but a sorosis. The fruits of a hundred or more separate flowers grow on the plant spike. As they grow, they swell with juice and pulp, expanding to become the “fruit.”

Pineapples have exceptional juiciness and a vibrant tropical flavour that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. They are second only to bananas as America’s favourite tropical fruit. Although the season for pineapple runs from March through June, they are available year-round in local markets.

Pineapples are 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 and fibrous yellow flesh. The area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture.

Pineapple[2]Ripe Pineapples

Pineapple are consumed both fresh and cooked, canned, juiced, are found in a wide array of food stuffs –dessert, fruit salad, jam, yogurt, ice cream, crisps, candy- and as a complement to meat dishes. In addition to consumption, in the Philippines the pineapple’s leaves are used to produce the textile fibre – piña – as a component of wall paper and furnishings, amongst other uses

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 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 colour and has a vibrant tropical flavour 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.

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 centrepiece, 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, other countries that commercially grow pineapples include Thailand, the Philippines, China, Brazil and Mexico.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPineapples 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 colour and has a vibrant tropical flavour that balances the tastes of sweet and tart.

The nutritional profile of pineapple includes a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fibre, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Pineapples are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They’re also a good source of Dietary Fibre, Thiamin, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese.

Pineapple[4]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.

Agricultural waste from pineapple, which is eco-friendly can be used as alternative materials for production of home textiles, apparels, non-woven and industrial fabrics and upholsteries. The waste parts left from canning plants, including the skin, core and ends, are used to make alcohol, vinegar and food for livestock.

Pineapple fibres are obtained from pineapple waste, which has high lignin and cellulose content. These were already being used as organic waste till recently, but with recent experiments proving successful in producing silk-like textiles when fused with polyester or silk, these fibres have a new utility.

Pineapple FiberPiña (as it called in Philippines) fibre is extracted from the leaves of the pineapple plant, Ananas comosus.  Piña fibre can be extracted by hand-scraping, decortication or retting.  Pineapple fibres are very lightweight, soft and easy to maintain and wash, and also it fuses well with other fabrics and provides an elegant look.

Pineapple fibres are very lightweight, soft and easy to maintain and wash, and also it fuses well with other fabrics and provides an elegant look. With increasing awareness regarding eco-friendly fabrics, these fibres are now being increasingly used for preparation of apparels and home furnishings such as cloth, shirt, handbag, coaster, floor mat, paper etc.

Piña fibre can be extracted by hand-scraping, decortication or retting. However, it is only by hand-scraping that good quality fibres are produced for handweaving.

Pineapple Shirt[1]

Handwoven piña cloth embroidered intricately were greatly prized then and believed to have matched, or even surpassed, the most intricate laces or other luxurious handiworks. Piña cloth became one of the most sought after handwoven materials because it was a suitable wear to tropical climate and due to its uniqueness and beauty, it offered the most feminine and refined look in an age of elegance and romanticism.

The processes involved in piña fibre and cloth production are too laborious and time-consuming as each step – from fibre production to weaving – is done by hand. Thus, through the years, the younger generation lost interest in pursuing this undertaking, leaving only the old folks to engage in the diverse activities of the industry.

Pineapple Shirt[2]Piña cloth then was described as one of the most beautiful fabrics; only used in the dress of the wealthy, being too costly for common use.

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