An Incredible Guide on Pineapples – Benefits, Curiosities and More

In this blog, we’ll show you what are the characteristics of pineapple, its main types, properties, history, main producers and importers, how it is cultivated, and some pineapple-based products. Don’t miss it!  

What is pineapple and what are its characteristics?   

Scientific nameAnanas comosus
Common namePineapple, anana.
Place of OriginSouth America.
HabitatTropical climates of approximately 24°C and drained soils.
DistributionSouth America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Characteristics of the pineapple plant  

It belongs to the Bromeliaceae family, and the common name of the plant is the same as its fruit (pineapple).  

This plant has no stems or branches, but its leaves are its only ramification. Its only support other than leaves is a small, slender, green trunk that supports the fruit once it flowers.  

The pineapple is not as fertile as other crops because it produces only one fruit a year.


Its leaves can reach 1 to 1.5 meters in height and are spread from a central axis from which they grow outwards, from which the fruit grows too.

They are triangular and sharp and of green color.

Description of the pineapple fruit

The pineapple is an ovoid or cylindrical fruit measuring about 15 centimeters in diameter and 30 centimeters long. It weighs approximately 2 kilograms. Its flavor is sweet and somewhat sour, so some people may get their tongue cracked when tasting it.

It is very rare to find seeds in this plant, so in general we refer to cuttings when it comes to harvesting it.

Peel or external part   

Its color can be yellow, approaching orange when ready to be consumed. A greenish tone means it is not yet ripe.  

The peel is made up of a series of hexagonal-shaped scales (6 points) with protruding spikes in the center and, because of this, its texture is quite rough. It is often said that these diamonds are the “eyes of the pineapple” because, when the peel is removed, in the pulp of the fruit, small eye-like spots remain where the hexagons were before.


The flesh or inner part of the pineapple is fibrous and smooth, except for the “eyes” that we mentioned before. It’s yellow and juicy, but stiff to split -even with a knife- so it is recommended to do it in small pieces to make it easier to digest.

Pineapple cut into several pieces

 Types of pineapple  

There are more than 20 varieties or cultivars of pineapple; here is a compilation of what they are:  

  1. Red Spanish pineapple
  2. Victoria
  3. Dwarf pineapple
  4. PR-1-67
  5. Big-headed
  6. Pernambuco
  7. Montufar 
  8. Abacaxi 
  9. Ripley
  10. James Quenn 
  11. Queen
  12. Spanish Jewel
  13. Sugar Loaf
  14. Singapore Spanish
  15. Masmerah 
  16. Smooth Cayenne
  17. Champaka 
  18. Mount Lirio
  19. Perolera 
  20. Baron de Rothschild  
  21. Brecheche 
  22. Burguesa 
  23. Maipure 
  24. Rondon 

Today we’ll focus on the first three types mentioned above, as they are the main ones.

Red Spanish Pineapple  

Scientific nameAnanas bracteatus
Common nameRed Spanish pineapple, cumanesa, and black Spanish.
Place of OriginCaribbean region
HabitatNo differences from the original fruit
DistributionCaribbean, Central, and South America.

This pineapple was brought to the Philippines by the Spanish during the colonial period in the 17th century. There, its leaves were used to create pineapple fiber fabrics that were used to make the country’s typical garments, such as the Barong Tagalog.

Its leaves have short spiky shapes with red edges. Its fruits are approximately 20 centimeters tall and cylinder-shaped. The red Spanish pineapple is surrounded on the outside by a series of hexagon-shaped scales (six points) that have spike-like protuberances in their center. These scales, like its leaves, have reddish edges, but on the inside, they retain the yellow-orange color of the original fruit.  

This fruit’s pulp flavor is pleasantly sweet.

It is found in countries like:

  • Philippines
  • Philippines 
  • Cuba  
  • Puerto Rico
  • Venezuela
  • Mexico 
  • Brazil
Red Spanish pineapple
By Galjundi7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Victoria Pineapple  

Scientific nameAnanas Mauritius
Common nameVictoria pineapple.
Place of OriginAfrica
HabitatTropical and humid weather.
DistributionThe Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Its name was granted in honor of Queen Victoria of England, who played an important role in the recognition and expansion of the fruit. This pineapple comes from the country of Mauritius on the African continent. Unlike the Spanish red pineapple, this one shows a characteristic green color in the leaves and retains the same elongated and pointed shape.  

Similarly, the fruit returns to its original appearance in shades of yellow and orange, with its hexagonal reliefs and no red color at the edges.  

Found in regions of the Indian Ocean and the African continent such as South Africa, Mauritius, and Reunion Island.

Pineapple mauritus
From David Monniaux – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Dwarf pineapple  

Scientific nameAnanas nanus
Common nameDwarf pineapple, wild pineapple, and mini.
Place of OriginBrazil and Suriname.
HabitatWarm climates and sandy soils.

It’s native to countries such as Suriname and northern Brazil. Although it’s true that it has the same color as the original fruit, its size suffers an important difference since, as you can imagine from the name, it is quite small – about 3 centimeters in diameter.  

Its leaves keep the same shape but also a smaller size of about 20 or 30 cm, so in this case, the leaves represent about 70% of this pineapple’s size. Its short size means that it can easily be converted into a domestic plant.  

This fruit is also distinctive for having a stronger and more acidic flavor than the traditional pineapple.

Properties and benefits of pineapple    

The nutritional profile of pineapple   

We invite you to see the nutritional table of pineapple per recommended serving (80 g) and per 100 g.

Recommended Serving: 1 piece (80g)
 100g1 serving
Energy (Kcal)5040
Proteins (g)0,50,4
Total fat (g)0,10,1
Available carbohydrates (g)11,79,4
Total dietary fiber (g)1,41,1
Sodium (mg)1,00,8
Potassium (mg)109,087,2
Vitamin A (µ ER)3,00,3%
Vitamin C (mg)47,864%
Vitamin E (mg ET)0,00,0%
Folic Ac. (µg)18,07%
Calcium (mg)13,01%
Iron (mg)0,32%
* %  in relation to the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Taken from 5 al dia

Benefits of pineapple  

Aids absorption and decomposition of food  

When you eat pineapple, your body has an easier time digesting the other food you eat. In addition, bromelain boosts the digestive system process when it comes to breaking down the food that has entered our body, through the gastric juices, separating the nutrients of the food from what is not useful and discarding the latter through the endocrine system.

If you want to lose weight, try pineapple 

Pineapple can be a good alternative for weight loss; it is a diuretic food that stimulates the toxin elimination process in the body which many people have difficulty with.  

Generally, there is a group of people who, despite having a balanced diet, find it difficult to lose weight, as elements such as fat are not completely eliminated from their bodies. For these people, it is especially advisable to include pineapple in their diet on a regular basis so they can finally get rid of those extra kilos and enjoy a sweet but low-calorie meal.

Strengthens our immune system   

This fruit has a high vitamin C content, which is known to be a medicine or treatment when we get sick from viruses.  

Doctors prescribe it in such cases because it promotes the production and proper functioning of our white blood cells, responsible for defending our cells when infection or virus attacks them and eradicating these intrusive bodies in our system.

It renews body cells   

Bromelain, mentioned above, is not only useful for breaking down food, but also for promoting cell renewal, where old cells die and are replaced by new ones that perform their work with greater strength, speed, and efficiency.  

This process is similar to pruning plants, where the branches that are no longer useful are cut so that new ones can grow in their place and produce flowers or fruit.

It delays skin aging  

The level of antioxidants in pineapple delays the signs of aging such as wrinkles, eye bags, stretch marks, cellulite or sagging skin, or even, once these signs of aging appear, they develop less quickly.

History and origin of pineapple  

This fruit was discovered by the Spanish and Portuguese when they arrived in America. On behalf of Spain, Christopher Columbus visited some Caribbean islands in 1493, such as the island of Guadeloupe, where he and his crew discovered a large number of fruits and vegetables and tried them all; the one they liked the most was pineapple.  

The reason why this fruit is called pineapple in English is that its discoverers described pineapple in their records as a food with a cracked texture similar to a pine fruit, with a rigid pulp similar to an apple, explaining why the name contains the words’ pine and apple.

The pineapple was considered a great luxury at the time of the Spanish conquest, since, once introduced to the European continent, it took about 200 years for farmers to successfully cultivate this fruit, due to the climatic conditions in Europe that were different from the American ones. Take into account that the regions where it was grown in America did not suffer from long winters that deteriorated the crop.  

Another reason why pineapple was given special care was that it would easily get damaged during transportation to other countries, so it was considered a blessing that this fruit arrived in good condition at its destination.  

This factor increased ambition for having a pineapple to such an extent that, for example, King Charles II of England posed for a portrait showing a pineapple by his side to portray pineapples as a symbol of royal privilege.

Another significance attributed to pineapple at that time was for food or lodging because whenever sailors would find establishments with pineapples hanging at the entrance, it meant that food or lodging was being offered.

The global industry of pineapple 

Know the main pineapple producers and importers in the world.  

Top 5 pineapple producers in the world   

According to data collected in AtlasBig, the country with the largest pineapple production in the world is Costa Rica with 3’418,155 tons per year. Next, we’ll see the top 5 countries with the highest amount of pineapple tons produced:

Country Tons of pineapple produced per year (approx.)Production per person in KgSurface in hectaresYield in Kg per hectare
Costa Rica3’418.155683,16743.00075.959

Costa Rica   

Part of the importance of pineapple in this country lies in the fact that this industry employs 152 thousand of Costa Ricans and that the value of this fruit in Costa Rica is so high that any change in its production, either by increasing or decreasing it, would involve a cost of 155,890 dollars for the Costa Rican government.

This country not only produces pineapple but also exports it to some countries around the world. It is known that 50% of the crop was exported to the United States from 2010 to 2015, and the other half to certain EAEU countries.  

By 2015, pineapple production yielded a total of 31% of the agricultural GDP, which represents 8% of the total GDP in the whole country. Now let’s take a look at an infographic with some relevant data about this industry in Costa Rica.

infographics pineapple economy costa ricaCanapep


By 2015, the Philippines had a pineapple production of 2’703,985 tons, which marks progress that although not very fast, has a steady pace, compared to the figures of 2011 when 2’230,000 tons were produced.

In 2017, for the months of July to September, there was an increase of 1.15% compared to the same period last year. They claim that one of the reasons for this increase in the harvest is that there was a greater number of industrial farms in areas like Cotabato and Mindanao.

In the following graph, you’ll find the value of pineapple production in the Philippines in billions of Philippine pesos from 2011 to 2016.

bar chart pineapple value Philippines


This country’s pineapple production in 2017 accounted for an estimated 10% of the world’s total. Brazilian pineapple is destined mostly for the country’s fresh produce market for it is a widely used and in-demand fruit that stimulates retail price competitiveness. From 2007 to 2016, the pineapple production rate in Brazil increased by 0.88% per year on average.


This country, rather than producing pineapple in its original state, produces and exports processed pineapple, referring to all the industrial products that can be made with this fruit be it, pineapple sauce, desserts and so on, and is number one in the production of this type of fruit even though it is not in the first place in overall production.  

Unfortunately, Thais have had a decline in pineapple figures, from the year 2007 to 2016 they had a reduction of -3.82% in the cultivation and sale of this fruit each year.


Despite it has been difficult for the Chinese to quickly adapt to the production of this fruit, they are working on improving their pace in the pineapple sector and have had an increase of 4.75% annually in a period of 9 years up to 2016.

The domestic pineapple crop is used for the Chinese fresh fruit market because, apparently, this fruit is highly purchased by Chinese citizens.

Top importers of pineapple in the world   

According to FAO, the top 10 pineapple-importing countries in the world are:  

  1. United States with 341,807 tons per year.
  2. Germany with 110,869 tons
  3. Japan with 47,158 tons
  4. United Kingdom with 52,122 tons
  5. Netherlands with 49,579 tons
  6. Spain with 34,442 tons
  7. Canada with 31,722 tons
  8. France with 30,251 tons
  9. Italy with 26,270 tons
  10. China with 20,788 tons

How is pineapple grown? 

To grow this fruit there are a series of requirements that must be taken into account. Below, we will show you what they are:  


Pineapple can be planted at any time of the year, as long as the soil is humid and has an approximate pH level between 5.5 and 6.2. If the pH is higher than recommended, the plant will suffer from iron deficiency and on the other hand, if it is lower it will be negative for root expansion and absorption of nutrients such as calcium and potassium.  

It’s necessary to look for firm soils without cracks to act as a permeable layer during rainy seasons so that this doesn’t damage the root by the presence of diseases caused by water accumulation.


This fruit adapts to a wide variety of climates, mostly warm with temperatures between 16°C and 32°C and temperate from 16°C to 21°C. Higher or lower temperatures can affect the development, growth, and quality of the leaves and fruit.  

It must receive a good amount of sunlight per day because thanks to this, the fruit grows with good flavor and coloration.  

Although warm climates are favorable for this plant, care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t face drought when its fruits are beginning to form because this excessive heat can slow down the growth rate of the fruit, which ultimately results in a reduction in its size.

Pineapple planting method  


While it is true that the pineapple can be grown at any time of the year, it is best to plant it in autumn.  

A plant of this type is rarely planted from seed, so almost always parts of the plant itself are used, especially from the base or crown. Fragments of the fruit may also be taken.  

It’s best to choose pieces that have still some vitality because choosing ripened or dry pieces will prevent the crop from thriving; cut off the pieces that are no longer useful before planting.

Plant the crop so that only the base trunk of the leaves or the crown touches the soil and water.

If the leaves become too deeply sunken and come in contact with the inner part of the soil, the plant will rot.

Crop distribution and spacing  

The cut stems intended to be used as seeds are distributed in a row, keeping a space of 40 to 45 centimeters from each other.  

The total number of pineapples planted per hectare should be at least 37,000 to a maximum of 50,000. If the plants are destined for industry, they can be increased to 80,000 per hectare.

Plant care  

Once the plants have been cultivated, they should be weeded twice a year using herbicides such as diuron, bromacil, or ametrine.  

It is necessary to fertilize the plant two or three times a year with phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, adding about 5 or 6 grams per planting. Sometimes magnesium can also be added.  

If for any reason frosts occur, the pineapple must be covered until these cold temperatures are over.  


After these requirements are met, it is only a matter of waiting for the fruit to be produced, making it one of the easiest plants to harvest.

Pineapples can take from 10 to 14 months to flower until the fruit can be eaten.

It is advisable to renew the plants every 2 harvests so that they don’t lose their productivity.

Pineapple harvesting  

Harvesting can be done during the early summer season through early fall. The pineapple must be fully ripened before it is removed from the plant because, unlike other fruits, it doesn’t continue to ripen after harvest.

Pineapple post-harvesting 

It’s good to keep them in temperatures averaging 7°C to 13°C (45°F to 55°F).  When pineapple is kept in good condition after harvest, it can stay fresh from two weeks to one month.

Uses and products made from pineapple  

How is pineapple consumed?  

The most traditional way to eat pineapple is sliced or cut fresh, without the peel, alone or combined with other fruits in salads and juices.

This food can be used to produce alcoholic beverages and in the candy industry for making various candies such as popsicles or accompaniments like pineapple syrup, which is often used in the newly controversial pineapple pizza.  The following are other foods derived from pineapple.

Artisanal products made from pineapple  

Pineapple tea   

By fusing this tea (or infusion) with cinnamon you’ll get a new analgesic against stomach pains or discomfort, plus the fact that it can also be a very effective anti-inflammatory. Thus, in general, it helps the stomach not to swell or become irritated during digestion. You can also drink it to heal sports injuries because it helps to relax contracted muscles.  

pineapple tea
Creative Commons Zero – CC0. by Nikon D750

Industrial products made from pineapple  

Pineapple colada (Piña colada)

This is a drink in which pineapple is mixed with rum and coconut cream. A curious fact about this preparation is that several theories suggest that its origin was due to pirates in the 19th century. It would be Roberto Cofresí in San Juan, Puerto Rico who distributed an interesting beverage to his sailors that contained pineapple, coconut, and white rum. After he was executed, this recipe had been lost in time, although many people say that this is just a myth. What is true is that this alcoholic beverage is quite popular in western cultures.

piña colada with pineapple

Pineapple Tepache  

An alcoholic drink in which the pineapple skin is fermented. This drink is found in Mexico and tastes like beer only sweeter. The original composition of Tepache is based on corn and this custom is still implemented by the indigenous people of the region years ago it was used by the Mayans for the celebration of various religious ceremonies.  

Pineapple Tepache
From Thelmadatter – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Pineapple syrup  

It has a similar use to the traditional syrup to accompany pancakes, only in this case its flavor is suitable for more combinations like with lemon ice cream or used in pancakes with whipped cream. It can also be added to lemon or orange drinks to increase their vitamin C level.

Pineapple vinegar  

Pineapple vinegar is obtained by fermenting the substances in the fruit. It has a strong odor and sour taste and is usually used as a condiment in food.

This vinegar can be used not only for meals but, in fact, it can be a good treatment for diabetics because it is low in sugar and increases insulin absorption by counteracting the resistance that a diabetic’s body generates toward insulin. Once the reception of insulin is activated, the unstable glucose levels that these people have can also be regenerated.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Photo by tacite by Open Food Facts

To recap, we have noted that pineapple has many interesting and curious facts, whether related to its history, the products that have been made with it, or its varieties since there are many more than you usually think. It’s a privilege to have such a unique fruit as this one. Beyond the theory, we suggest that you include this fruit in your diet so you can enjoy all its properties.