Pineapple: the food
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Pineapple provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Pineapple can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Pineapple, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.
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- Nutritional Profile
Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.
Key to the process is the change in color that occurs as fruits ripen, a similar process to that seen in the fall when leaves turn from green to red to yellow to brown- a color change caused by the breakdown and disappearance of chlorophyll, which gives leaves and fruits their green color.
Until now, no one really knew what happened to chlorophyll during this process, but lead researcher, Bernard Kräutler, and his team, working together with botanists over the past several years, has identified the first decomposition products in leaves: colorless, polar NCCs (nonfluorescing chlorophyll catabolytes), that contain four pyrrole rings - like chlorophyll and heme.
After examining apples and pears, the scientists discovered that NCCs replace the chlorophyll not only in the leaves of fruit trees, but in their very ripe fruits, especially in the peel and flesh immediately below it.
"When chlorophyll is released from its protein complexes in the decomposition process, it has a phototoxic effect: when irradiated with light, it absorbs energy and can transfer it to other substances. For example, it can transform oxygen into a highly reactive, destructive form," report the researchers. However, NCCs have just the opposite effect. Extremely powerful antioxidants, they play an important protective role for the plant, and when consumed as part of the human diet, NCCs deliver the same potent antioxidant protection within our bodies. . Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2007 Nov 19;46(45):8699-8702.
Everyone loves colorful, delicious fresh fruit salad, plus it's a perfect addition to any meal and makes a great snack or dessert. So why don't we enjoy fresh fruit salad more? Simply because it's been thought that cut fruit rapidly degrades, so fruit salad, which can take 15 minutes to prepare, would have to be freshly prepared to be good.
Now, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that minimal processing of fruit-cutting, packaging and chilling-does not significantly affect its nutritional content even after 6, and up to 9, days.
In practical terms, this means that you can prepare a large bowl of fruit salad on the weekend, store it in the refrigerator, and enjoy it all week, receiving almost all the nutritional benefits of just prepared fruit salad.
If you're really pressed for time, packaged cut up fresh fruit, although more expensive, is a nutritionally sound option.
In this study, researchers cut up pineapples, mangoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, strawberries and kiwi fruit. The freshly cut fruits were then rinsed in water, dried, packaged in clamshells (not gastight) and stored at 41°F (5°C).
After 6 days, losses in vitamin C were less than 5% in mango, strawberry, and watermelon pieces, 10% in pineapple pieces, 12% in kiwifruit slices, and 25% in cantaloupe cubes.
No losses in carotenoids were found in kiwifruit slices and watermelon cubes. Cantaloupe, mango, and strawberry pieces lost 10-15%; pineapples lost 25%, although this is not of much concern since they are not usually consumed for their carotenoid content since this is not one of the nutrients in which they are most concentrated.
No significant losses in phenolic phytonutrients were found in any of the fresh-cut fruit products. "Contrary to expectations, it was clear that minimal processing had almost no effect on the main antioxidant constituents. The changes in nutrient antioxidants observed during nine days at five degrees Celsius would not significantly affect the nutrient quality of fresh cut fruit. In general, fresh-cut fruits visually spoil before any significant nutrient loss occurs," wrote lead researcher Maria Gil.
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