25 Interesting Pineapple Facts You Need to Know

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orange and green pineapple fruits

Pineapples are a delicious tropical fruit with a spiky exterior and sweet, tangy flesh. But beyond being a tasty treat, the pineapple has a fascinating history and unique biology.

Here are 25 interesting facts about pineapples you likely never knew!

1. Pineapples Originated in South America

Pineapples are indigenous to South America, likely originating in the area between Brazil and Paraguay. Native Americans spread cultivation through Central and North America.

2. Pineapple Plants Can Live Over 50 Years

A pineapple plant can live for over 50 years! However, they only flower and fruit once per season. It takes around 2 years for the plant to mature and produce its first fruit.

3. Pineapples Are Not a Single Fruit

Contrary to appearances, pineapples are not a single fruit. They are made up of 100-200 individual fruitlets fused together around a central core. This makes pineapples a type of multiple fruit.

4. Christopher Columbus Discovered Pineapples

Christopher Columbus first discovered pineapples on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1493. This introduced the exotic fruit to Europeans.

5. Pineapples Were Once Used to Show Wealth

In the 17th-18th centuries, pineapples were so rare and expensive that renting one for a party was a show of immense wealth and status in Europe.

6. Pineapple Leaves Can Be Made Into Fabric

In the Philippines, pineapple leaves are processed into a silky textile called piña. This fabric is used to make traditional formal Barong Tagalog shirts.

7. Pineapples Contain Meat Tenderizing Enzymes

Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which breaks down proteins. This is why pineapples can be used as a natural meat tenderizer.

8. Pineapple Cores Can Be Planted to Grow New Plants

You can grow your own pineapple plant by planting the leafy crown from the top of a pineapple fruit. Just cut it off and plant in the soil.

9. Pineapple Plants Can Reach 5 Feet Tall

Given the right climate and care, pineapple plants can grow quite large, sometimes reaching up to 5 feet tall. But most commercially grown plants are smaller.

10. It Takes 30-40 Flowers to Grow One Pineapple

Studies show that on average, only around 30-40 of the flowers in the inflorescence develop into the individual fruitlets fused together into a mature pineapple. So most of the flowers abort and drop off the plant during development.

11. Pineapple Harvests Peak in Summer

Pineapples by Linda DV is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 .

For commercial pineapple crops, the peak harvesting season is summer. Pineapples usually take 15-20 months to reach maturity after flowering.

12. Brazil Is the Top Pineapple Producer

Brazil leads the world in pineapple production, accounting for over 25% of global pineapples. Other top producers are Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Thailand.

13. Pineapples Turn Pink When Cold Stressed

If pineapples experience cold stress, they can turn pink or reddish in color. But not to worry, the change is purely cosmetic and doesn’t affect flavor.

14. Pineapples Don’t Ripen After Picking

An interesting fact about pineapples is that they do not continue ripening after being picked. So commercial pineapples are picked when fully ripe.

15. Fresh Pineapple Can Cause Mouth Tingling

Ever wonder why fresh pineapple causes a tingling, prickly sensation in your mouth? That’s the bromelain enzymes breaking down proteins on your tongue!

16. Pineapples Appear in Folklore Around the World

In Hawaii, pineapples represent hospitality. In Europe, a pineapple was a traditional gift for housewarmings. They commonly appear in folklore globally.

17. Dole Was Hawaii’s Pineapple King

For much of the 20th century, the Dole Food Company dominated pineapple production in Hawaii. But now, Hawaii produces just 13% of U.S. pineapples.

18. Dehydrated Pineapple Lasts Over a Year

Dried or dehydrated pineapple can remain edible for over 12 months. Canned pineapple also has a shelf life of 12-24 months when unopened.

19. Pineapples Contain Manganese and Vitamin C

Pineapples are packed with nutrients like manganese, which aids bone health, and vitamin C, an immune-boosting antioxidant. One cup contains over 100% of your vitamin C needs!

20. Pineapple Waste Can Be Upcycled

Pineapple leaves stems, and skins are rich in fiber. Companies are finding ways to upcycle pineapple waste into clothing, cardboard, bioplastics, and more.

21. Pineapples Grow as a Clump of Leaves

A pineapple plant starts as a clump of sword-like leaves sprouting from the top of the fruit. As it matures, it develops over 100 spiky leaves arranged in a rosette.

22. Pineapple Peels Contain Bromelain

That tingly enzyme bromelain is not just found in pineapple flesh – it’s also present in the stems and peels. So the whole fruit is usable.

23. Canned Pineapple First Hit Shelves in 1901

The first commercial canning of pineapples began in 1901. Canning allowed pineapples to be shipped long distances and made them more affordable.

24. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Originated in the 1920s

The classic pineapple upside-down cake first started appearing in cookbooks in the 1920s. But the technique of baking fruit upside-down dates back centuries.

25. The World’s Heaviest Pineapple Weighed 18.25 lbs (8.28 kg)

big Pineapple
image created by AI

In 2011, the world’s heaviest pineapple was grown in Australia, weighing a whopping 18.25 lbs (8.28 kg)! That’s over 5 times heavier than a typical pineapple.

Whether you’re a pineapple fan or just love fun food facts, I hope you enjoyed these fascinating tidbits about this tropical treat! Pineapples have a remarkable history and incredible biology behind their spiky crowns.

Next time you bite into the sweet tangy flesh of a pineapple, remember just how special this fruit really is. From their long growing process to their many uses, pineapples are truly one of nature’s gems.

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