The Purposes of Pineapples

             Pineapples are a very important commodity that grows mostly in tropical climates. They are altered into many different things, from canned pineapple to pineapple juice, and it is a very profitable market. Even the enzyme found in pineapples, bromelain, is extracted and used for many different purposes. .

             Pineapples are terrestrial plants that on average grow to be 2.5ft high to 5 feet high. The spread of the plant is about 4 feet, and they usually have leaves branching off of the stem that are pointed and range from 20-72 inches high, bearing spikes or some type of sharp piece at the end. During the blooming period of the plant, the stem elongates and produces a head of small red or purple flowers. These flowers are usually accompanied by a red, yellow, or green bract (bract: a leaf from the axil of which a flower or floral axis arises [Webster]). The pineapple plant then keeps on growing and forms the pineapple fruits, which join together and form the "traditional” pineapple shape. (Morton, 18) Pineapple cannot tolerate frost or prolonged cold exposure; hence it must be cultivated in the near costal areas around warmer climate and lower elevation. (Vaughan & Geissler).

             The pineapple plant's fruit that it produces is a very juicy and fibrous fruit. It takes about a year and a half for the fruit to be produced by the pineapple plant. (Abernathy) The outer rind of the pineapple is very tough and waxy, in order to protect the nutrient plentiful and caloric insides of the fruit. The bombproof coating on the pineapple is usually hexagonally shaped, and often dark in color. The color ranges from a dark green/brownish color to a yellow or reddish color in certain types when fully ripened. The inner flesh is most often yellow or white. When ripe the pineapple will sound hollow when knocked upon, and also when freshly picked it is advised to let the fruit sit out for about a week, so it dries out properly.

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