Quality Insights

Quality in Nature's Sugar Cube - The Pineapple

21 March 2019
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Quality in Nature's Sugar Cube - The Pineapple

01 January 2017

The pineapple is often described "nature's sugar cube", providing one of the sweetest natural tastes available. Yet there is so much more potential to be realised from this amazing fruit. At Innovative Fresh we want to help you solve some really common pineapple problems.

Pineapples are popular simply because they are sweet and delicious, yet they come with a number of barriers to purchase, and also elements that hinder production and profitability.

It is difficult to maintain consistency in taste and texture with pineapples. Preparing a pineapple is time-consuming, so it is not a fruit that can be eaten on the move unless it has been pre-prepared or bought ready to eat.

There is ongoing debate about whether a pineapple should be sold with or without its top. The top makes the pineapple look attractive on shelf, but it also requires more shipping space and less efficiency when packing the product. It creates extra weight for the shopper, as well as extra waste. A rise in pre-prepared fruit sales also suggests that convenience is triumphing over appearance.

Ensuring the quality of pineapples is often challenging in the winter months. At Innovative Fresh, the pineapples we monitor during the winter have difficulty reaching proper sugar levels and tend to be more acidic. Nothing is more dissatisfying for a consumer than purchasing a pineapple and finding out that the fruit is unripe.

We often think that pineapples, which grow in tropical climates, have no seasonal effects, but 95% of pineapples are produced in Costa Rica in the Northern Hemisphere. The light intensity there follows the same pattern as the European winter and summer season. Since Costa Rica is nine degrees above the equator, pineapples do grow slower in winter months. This increases the risk of premature harvesting of fruit with lower sugar levels and higher acidity, and producers often struggle to maintain high sugar levels in February and March. It may not be the best time, therefore, to promote pineapples in stores. There are strict minimum sugar levels for pineapples which affect eating quality, and these should not be compromised.

Pineapple quality is difficult to control in the winter months, but that's not a reason to disappoint your consumers. With all the efforts put in growing, harvesting and transporting pineapples to the market, it should be our common goal to deliver only good, ripened fruit to consumers.

At Innovative Fresh we monitor pineapples all year round, so we know the pitfalls and challenges you face. Apart from measuring the sugar levels, we also evaluate the appearance of the fruit in stores. We help to guarantee good eating quality in pineapples, whether whole fruits or fresh cut in convenience packs.

If you want help providing the best quality fresh produce to your consumers, get in touch with us at info@innovativefresh.com.

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