from the Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
by James A. Duke.
comosus (L.) Merr.
Yields and Economics
is cultivated for fruit, used fresh, canned, frozen, or made into
juices, syrups, or candied. Pineapple bran, the residue after juicing,
is high in vitamin A, and is used in livestock feed. From the juice may
be extracted citric acid, or on fermentation, alcohol. In the
Philippines, a fine quality cloth is made from leaf fibers. Commercial
bromelain is generally prepared from pineapple wastes. A mixture of
several proteases, bromelain is used in meat tenderizers, in
chill-proofing beer, manufacturing precooked cereals, in certain
cosmetics, and in preparations to treat edema and inflammation.
Bromelain is nematicidal (Duke, 1984b).
to Hartwell (1967–1971), the fruit, peel, or juice is used in
folk remedies for corns, tumors, and warts. Reported to be
abortifacient, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive,
discutient, diuretic, ecbolic, emmenagogue, estrogenic, hydragogue,
intoxicant, laxative, parasiticide, purgative, refrigerant, styptic,
and vermifuge, pineapple is a folk remedy for bladder ailments,
hypochondria, scarlet fever, scurvy, sores, and sprains. An antiedemic
substance has been reported from the rhizome. Many real or imagined
pharmacological effects are attributed to bromelain: burn debridement,
antiinflammatory action, smooth muscle relaxation, stimulation of
muscle contractions, cancer prevention and remission (not recognized by
NCI), ulcer prevention, appetite inhibition, enhanced fat excretion,
sinusitis relief. According to Morton, bromelain is given as an
antiinflammatory agent following dental, gynecological, and general
surgery, and to treat abscesses, contusions, hematomas, sprains, and
Pineapple juice from unripe fruits acts as a violent
purgative, and is also anthelmintic and ecbolic. Ripe fruit juice is
diuretic, but in large doses may cause uterine contractions. Sweetened
leaf decoction drunk for venereal diseases. Juice of the leaves
consumed for hiccoughs, vermifuge, and as purgative. Juice of ripe
fruit regarded also as antiscorbutic, cholagogic, diaphoretic,
refrigerant, and useful in jaundice. Young vegetative buds are used for
respiratory ailments among Choco children (Duke, 1984b).
100 g, the fruit is reported to contain 47–52 calories,
85.3–87.0 g H2O, 0.4–0.7 g protein, 0.2–0.3 g fat,
11.6–13.7 g total carbohydrate, 0.4–0.5 g fiber,
0.3–0.4 g ash, 17–18 mg Ca, 8–12 mg P, 0.5 mg Fe,
1–2 mg Na, 125–146 mg K, 32–42 mg b-carotene
equivalent, 0.06–0.08 mg thiamine, 0.03– 0.04 mg
riboflavin, 0.2–0.3 mg niacin, and 17–61(-96) mg ascorbic
acid. Cultivars may contain 1–5% citronic acid (wild forms up to
8.6%), ca 3.5% invert sugars, 7.5% saccharose, approaching 15% at
maturity. Also reported are vanillin, methyln-propyl ketone,
n-valerianic acid, isocapronic acid, acrylic acid, L(-)-malic acid,
b-methylthiopropionic acid methyl ester (and ethyl ester),
5-hydroxytryptamine, quinic acid-1,4-di-p-coumarin (my translation from
List and Horhammer, 1969–1979). The aromatics from the essential
oils of the fruit include methanol, ethanol, n-propanol, isobutanol,
n-pentanol, ethyl acetate, ethyl-n-butyrate, methylisovalerianate,
methyl-n-capronate, methyl-n-caprylate, n-amyl-n-capronate, ethyl
lactate, methyl-b-methylthiolpropionate, ethyl-b-methylthiolpropionate,
and diacetyl, acetone, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, furfurol, and
5-hydroxy-2-methylfurfurol. Steriod fractions of the lower leaves
possess estrogenic activity.
who cut up pineapples have their fingerprints almost completely
obliterated by pressure and the keratolytic effect of bromelain
(calcium oxalate crystals and citric acid were excluded as the cause).
The recurved hooks on the left margins can painfully injure one.
Mitchell and Rook (1979) also restated earlier work on "pineapple
estate pyosis" occurring in workers who gather the fruits, probably an
acarus infestation with secondary bacterial infection. Angular
stomatitis can result from eating the fruit. Ethyl acrylate, found in
the fruits, produced sensitisation in 10 of 24 subjects "by a
maximisation test." Ethyl acrylate is used in creams, detergents, food,
lotions, perfumes, and soaps. In "therapeutic doses", bromelain may
cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, and menorrhagia. Watt and
Breyer-Brandwijk (1969–1979) restate a report, unavailable to me,
of unusual toxic symptoms following ingestion of the fruit, heart
failure with cyanosis and ecchymoses, followed by collapse and coma and
sometimes death (Duke, 1984b).
herbaceous, sometimes spinescent succulent, up to 1 m tall; leaves
long, sword-like, arranged in a tight spiral around a short stem, edges
very sharply dentate to nearly entire, often variegated, or red or
brown streaked; flowers purplish-blue, trimerous, progressive toward
apex of stem, with oldest flowers at base of inflorescence; fruit a
composite of 100–200 seedless fruits fused into a tight, compact
unit, developing along axis of stem, oval to cylindrical, yellowish to
orange, often greenish; fruit development requiring about 20 days
from the South American Center of Diversity, pineapple, or cvs thereof,
is reported to tolerate aluminum, drought, insects, laterite, low pH,
peat, slope, and virus (Duke, 1978). Some selection and improvements
had been done by the Indians in pre-Columbian times. All members of A.
comosus are cultigens with no wild ancestral forms. Triploid varieties
are reported from Brazil, Ecuador, and the West Indies. Numerous
tetraploid are known with larger fruits and longer maturing periods.
New varieties are currently being selected, one of importance is
resistant to mealybug wilt incorporated into the Cayenne variety.
Varieties of A. comosus are self-incompatible, hence seedless when
self-pollinated. Seeds may be produced by artificial cross-pollination.
In its native areas, hummingbirds effect natural cross-pollination.
Hundreds of cvs have been developed, some of the presently important
'Cayenne or Smooth Cayenne'—fruits
1350–2500 g, cylindrical, flesh yellow, high acid and sugar
content, has largest acreage in cultivation, 90% of world's canned
fruit comes from this variety. Grown primarily in Hawaii, Australia,
Philippines, and South Africa.
1350–2250 g, squarish, flesh pale yellow, fibrous, aromatic, acid
flavor, used for fresh and candied fruit industry. Grown in Florida,
Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba; a good shipper.
'Queen or Table Queen'—900–1350
g, flesh rich yellow, mild flavor, crisp, low acid, popular as fresh
fruit. Grown in South Africa.
g, cylindrical, flesh yellow-white, tender, juicy, mild, sweet flavor,
popular as fresh fruit. Grown in northern Brazil.
in Mexico and Central America for its fresh fruit.
conical to globular, flesh yellow-white, rich, sweet flavor, eaten
fresh. Grown in Mexico and Cuba.
(Cabezona)—2250–4500 g, flesh yellow-white, fairly good flavor. Grown
in Puerto Rico.
Other varieties of local importance are: 'Abachi' (Abakka or
Abacaxi), 'Monte Lirio',
Cultivars with smooth-edged leaves are desirable and frequently planted
to make harvesting easier. x = 25; 2n = 50 (Reed, 1976).
to the American Tropics, the cultivated pineapples are grown mainly
between latitudes 24°N and 25°S, principally at lower
altitudes, in many countries where climatic conditions are favorable
from Warm Temperate Moist (without frost) to Tropical Very Dry to Wet
Forest Life Zones, pineapple is reported to tolerate annual
precipitation of 6.0 to 41.0 dm (mean of 34 cases = 19.3), annual
temperature of 16.2 to 27.4°C (mean of 34 cases = 23.7), and pH of
3.5 to 8.0 (mean of 29 cases = 6.0) (Duke, 1978, 1979). Pineapples
thrive in climates that are uniformly warm. Leaf damage occurs at
-2.2°C, and plants are killed at lower temperatures. Prolonged
exposure at 5°C results in internal breakdown. Pineapples may be
grown under a wide range of rainfall conditions, from 60 cm to 254 cm,
with 100–150 cm being ideal. They are tolerant of a wide range of
soils providing they possess good drainage, soil aeration, and a low
percentage of lime. Sandy loam, mildly acid and of medium fertility, is
best (Reed, 1976).
a pineapple plantation, soil should be thoroughly prepared, fertilized,
fumigated, and paper laid down. Propagation is vegetative by slips from
stalk under fruit, suckers from axils of leaves (these produce fruit
more quickly), crowns, the rosettes at apex of fruit, or ratoons, the
growth from underground stems. Remove the vegetative unit, allow to dry
1 or more weeks, and plant through hole in paper. Plants are spaced
25–45 cm apart in 0.6 m rows. Use of tar-paper or black plastic
strips helps to eliminate weeds, conserve moisture, increase soil
temperature and build up high nitrate in soil. Fertilization is
normally practiced, amounts depending on natural soil fertility.
Application of iron is necessary in areas of low pH (5.6–7).
Since pineapples flower erratically, forcing of flowers is a common
practice. This is done chemically by use of a plant hormone which
induces flowering and subsequent fruiting. A drop in temperature of
about 10° during the winter months probably initiates flowering
harvest occurs in 12–22 months after planting. Production is
continuous in the tropics. In subtropics, harvest is usually during the
summer months. Plants bear for 3–5 years after which they should
be replanted. Fruit is picked ripened for best natural sugars; greener
for shipping. Most pineapple is canned, with only 8% being consumed
Yields and Economics
average diploid pineapple weighs 2.25 kg. First year's harvest is
greatest, about 72 MT/ha, with yields less in succeeding years. Larger
cultivars yield more per hectare, depending on the variety. World
production at the present time is about 4 billion kg/yr. Largest
producers are Hawaii, Malaysia, Brazil, Ghana, Mexico, Philippines, in
that order. Lesser amounts are produced by Taiwan, Republic of South
Africa, and Puerto Rico. Hawaii produces about 90% of the world's
canned pineapple. The major importers are United States (about 36.1
million kg/yr), Argentina, West Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Main exporters of fresh pineapples are Mexico (about 44% of world's
market), Brazil, Cuba, and Republic of South Africa (Reed, 1976).
to Gopalakrishnan and Kasturi (1980), "The production of energy from
biomass appears to be a better proposition, at least in the short term,
than the production of energy from geothermal, solar, wind, and similar
The pineapple industry has the potential to meet about 4%
of Hawaii's energy needs by supplying in excess of 138,000 MWh to the
State's Utility Grid, over and above its own use. Maui County,
currently obtaining 30% of its needs from bagasse, is likely to obtain
another 40% of its energy from stack burning of pineapple trash.
Capital requirements for trash use are minor compared with those of
other energy sources, and the environmental impact is insignificant. If
such is true in one of the United States, clearly it should not be
written off as an energy resource in developing countries. Kohls (ca
1981) discusses the potential of making medicinal alcohol from
pineapple wastes in the Ivory Coast, which imports 220,000 liters per
year. Banana production around d'Agboville is around 15,000 MT, of
which 12,600 MT are exported, the remainder (largely wasted) capable of
yielding at least 40,000 liters medicinal alcohol. Stewart et al (1979)
estimate that pineapple would yield 71 liters alcohol per ton at a raw
material cost per liter of $1.76 compared to closer to $0.20 per liter
for cereal-derived alcohol and $0.15 to $0.20 per liter for gasoline.
Conversely, Marzola and Bartholomew (1979) "show ... that recoverable
alcohol from achievable commercial yields of pineapple can actually
equal that of sugarcane, with the pineapple crop requiring only a
fraction of the water used by sugarcane." But pineapple production in
Hawaii requires monthly inputs of 14.5 MCal/ha for manual labor, 49.0
for machines, 542.6 for fuel, 338.9 for fertilizers, and 18.9 for
pesticides. Such pineapple, at age 654 days, produced 790 kg/ha/mo
sugar, while year old ratoons produced 1,150 kg sugar and 280 kg
starch, comparing favorable with sugarcane monthly sugar production.
The pineapple slightly exceeded the sugarcane, which in turn exceeded
cassava. Marzola and Bartholomew (1979) concluded that the pineapple
would yield 964 liters alcohol/ha/mo, cf 921 for sugarcane, and 611 for
cassava. Air dried pineapple plant residues are estimated to contain
Many fungi attack the pineapple plant in different regions, Aspergillus
niger, Asterinella stuhlmanni, Beltrania indica,
Botryodiploidia ananassae, B.
theobromae, Calothyriella ananassae, Ceratocystis paradoxs,
Ceratostomella paradoxa, Colletotrichum
capsici, Corynespora cassiicola, Curvularia lunata, C. maculans,
Cyclodomus comosi, Dictyoarthrinium quadratum, Fusarium moniliforme,
and var. subglutinans, F.
oxysporum, F. scirpi, F. solani, Gliomastix luzulae, Hendersonula
toruloides, Macrophomina phaseoli, Marasmius palmivorus, M. sacchari,
Nigrospora sphaerica, Paecilomyces elegans, Peltaster intermedium,
Penicillium funiculosum, P. vermiculatum, Periconia minutissima,
Pestalotia ananas, Phyllosticta ananassae, Phytophthora cinnamomi, P.
parasitica, P. palmivora, Pithomyces sacchari,
bakeri, Pythium arrhenomanes, P. butleri, P. debaryanum, P.
indigoferae, P. spinosum, Spegazzinia tessarthra, Sporedesmium bakeri
Sporodum atropurpureum, Stachybotrys parvispora, Stachylidium bicolor,
Stibella proliferans, Syncephalostratum racemosum, Thielaviopsis
paradoxs (white spot, soft rot, base rot), Tricobotrys
pannosa, Walbrothielia bromeliae, Zygosporium oscheoides, Hymenula
affinis, Rhizopus stolonifer, Rhizidiocystis ananasi, Trichoderma viride,
and various wild yeasts. Pineapples are attacked by a great variety of
nematodes in different countries, many of the specific records are from
Nigeria, Thailand, Philippines, Malagasy, Taiwan, and Bangladesh: Aphelenchoides
sp. , Criconema
octangulare, Criconemella ferniae, C. ornata, C. onoense, C. peruensis,
C. rusticum, Ditylenchus destructor, Dorylaimus pacificus,
Heliocotylenchus africanus, H. dihystera, H. multicinctus, H. concavus,
H. erythrinae, H. cavenessi, H. pseudorobustus, H. pannus,
Hemicriconemoides cocophilus, H. squamosus, Hemicycliophora
oostenbrinkii, Heterodera schachtii, Hoplolaimus pararobustus, H.
seinhorsti, Isolaimium stictachroum, Longidorus laevicapitatus,
Macrolaimus natator, Meloidogyne acronea, M. arenaria, M. hapla, M.
incognita, M. incognita acrita, M. javanica, M. sp., Mesotylus
taomasinae, Nothocriconemella mutabilis, Paratylenchus minutus,
Pratylenchus brachyurus, P. coffeae, P. goodeyi, P. penetrans, P.
pratensis, P. scribneri, P. thorner, P. zeae, Radopholus similes,
Rotylenchus brevis, Rotylenchulus reniformus, Scutellonema bradys, S.
unum, Trichodorus porosus, Trilineelus triglyphus, Tylenchortiynchus
acti, T. annulatus, T. brevidens, T. claytoni, T. nudus, T. parvus,
Xiphinema americana, X. chambersi, X. ensiculiferum, X. insigne, and X.
sp. Thecia sp. larvae
attack fruits. Tobacco thrips (Frankliniella insularis and
fusca) and Onion thrips (Thrips tabaci)
carry the virus of Spotted Wilt and Yellow Spot; larvae must feed on
diseased plants in nymphal stage. White grubs are a problem in Puerto
Rico, controlled by andrin. Pineapple scale (Diaspis bromeliae)
may be a problem in some areas. Mealybug (Dysmicoccus brevipes)
caused mealybug wilt, the most serious disease of pineapple; but is ant
attended, so using dieldrin to kill the ants helps control the
mealybug. All crowns, suckers and the like could be treated with
malathion or diazinon and let dry before planting (Reed, 1976).
J.A. 1978. The quest for tolerant germplasm. p. 1–61. In: ASA
Special Symposium 32, Crop tolerance to suboptimal land conditions. Am.
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zone tropicale humide:cas de l'alcool medicinal a partir de dehectes
d'ananas. Entropie 98 (Valorisation Energ 1. p. 37–38).
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pharmazeutischen praxis. vols 2–6. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
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Mitchell, J.C. and Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology. Greenglass
Reed, C.F. 1976. Information summaries on 1000 economic plants.
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