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Organic Pineapple Profile

The Pineapple (Ananus comosus(L.) Merr., Bromeliaceae) originates from tropical south America and is now cultivated worldwide in the tropics between 250N ans S. However, there are individual regions of production at higher latitudes (330S), e.g. east London in South Africa.

World Scenario

Pineapple is grown in Brazil,Thailand, Philippines, Costa Rica, China, India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Cote d’Ivoire, USA, Equador, Honduras, Ghana and other countries. The world pineapple production in 2005 was around 18,260.95 mt from a production area of 903,083 hectares which was 3.5 per cent of the total world fruit production (Source: FAOSTAT 2006, OECD/UNECE). 80 percent of the pineapple was produced among 12 countries on three continents (Central & South Americas, Asia, Africa).Pineapple Production

Export of Pineapple from major exporting countries in 2005   (Source: www.ers.usda.gov)

Indian Scenario

In India, it is grown in Karnataka, Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Kerela, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland. It is also cultivated on limited areas in the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu, Goa and Orissa. Pineapple is a humid tropical plant and grows well, both in the plains and also at elevations not exceeding 900 metres.

Varieties

Pineapple The most important cultivars in the world are Smooth Cayenne or Hawaiian, Queen or African Queen or Formosa, native Philippine Red or Red Spanish and Cabezona. In India, ‘Kew’, ‘queen’ and ‘Mauritius’ three popular varieties. ‘Kew’ produces large fruits and mostly used for canning. The other two have smaller fruits which are considered to be of superior quality. ‘Kew’ is a late and ‘Queen is early fruit variety while ‘Mauritius’ is intermediate. Substantial fruiting starts from the fourth or fifth year. The fruit takes four months to mature.

Packaging

For local markets, immediately after picking, fruits are packed in bamboo baskets lined with paddy-straw. The first layer of fruits is arranged in such a way that they stand on their stumps. The second layer of fruits is arranged on the crowns of the first layer fruits. Each basket weights 20-25 kg. For distant markets, fruit are wrapped individually with paddy straw and then packed. For export purpose, the pineapples are packed into fibreboard or wood containers. The fruits are placed vertically or horizontally in container. The interspace between the fruits should be filled with straw and firm lining all around the container. For long-distance transportation, fruits are held at 7°C for 10-20 days.

Storage

When fruits are transported for long distances or to be stored for several days, refrigerated transport is required to slow down ripening process. In tropical areas, partially ripe, healthy and unbruised pineapple could be stored for almost 20 days when refrigerated at 10-13° C with RH 85-90 percent. Fruits harvested in early stage of ripening are stored at 7-10°C. Exposure of pineapples to temperatures below 7°C results in chilling injury. Controlled atmosphere storage (3-5 percent O2 and 5-8 percent CO2 ) delayed senescence and reduced respiration.

Cool Chain

Cool chain is essential during the transport of export quality commodity all the way from the farm to the customer. This helps in maintaining the temperature inside the box at the same low level as in the cold storage.
The various stages of the cool chain are :
  • Coldstore at the farm.
  • Refrigerated truck from farm to the airport
  • Coldstore at the airport.
  • Building up of the pallet in a coldstore at the airport.
  • Loading the aircrafts directly from the coldstore in a short time.
  • Cargo aircraft maintains coldstore temperature in hold.
  • Off loading direct into a coldstore in the receiving country.
  • Refrigerated truck to the customers.

Trade

World trade in the fruit consists of three main products : preserves, forming by far the largest proportion (1,000,000 tonnes), pure or concentrated juice (170,000 tonnes) and fresh fruits (500,000 tonnes). The world trade for fresh represents 11 per cent and processed fruit represents 32 per cent of the total production. Four-fifths of the world preserves and juice market is supplied by Thailand and the Philippines. The fresh pineapple trade is dominated by Costa Rica which supplies 60 percent of the European market, the leading importer with over 200,000 tonnes of fresh pineapple. Pineapple Trade Figure

Export of Pineapple from major exporting countries in 2005  (Source: www.ers.usda.gov)