Pineapple

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Ananas sativus

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit which are coalesced berries.[1] Pineapples are the only bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation. It can be grown as an ornamental, especially from the leafy tops. Some sources say that the plant will flower after about 24 months & produce a fruit during the following six months[2] while others indicate a 20-month timetable.[3]

Pineapple is eaten fresh or canned or juiced. It is popularly used in desserts, salads, as a complement to meat dishes and in fruit cocktail. The popularity of the pineapple is due to its sweet-sour taste containing 15% sugar and malic and citric fruit acids. It is also high in vitamin B1, B2, B6 and C. Its protein-digesting enzyme bromelain seems to help digestion at the end of a high protein meal.[4]

In the Philippines, pineapple leaves are used as the source of a textile fiber called piña.

Contents

Etymology

The word pineapple in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). The term pine cone for the reproductive organ of conifer trees was first recorded in 1694. When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them pineapples (term first recorded in that sense in 1664 because of their resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone).[5]

In the scientific binomial Ananas comosus, ananas, the original name of the fruit, comes from the Tupi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) word nanas, meaning "excellent fruit",[6] as recorded by André Thevet in 1555, and comosus, "tufted", refers to the stem of the fruit. Other members of the Ananas genus are often called pine as well by laymen.

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