Yet, here’s a possible one-up on fresh pineapple. Because dried pineapple could be the next best thing if fresh pineapple isn’t available. Australian dried pineapple is a delectable, transportable tropical treat that rivals its fresh-fruit self. Whatsmore, there’s no spiky skin to handle and no machete-style chopping required. Grab a handful of dried pineapple rings and enjoy an instant boost of sunshine to brighten your day.
Read on to discover all about dried pineapple, the health benefits and how to enjoy them.
Pineapple: History & Cultivation
The splendid pineapple (ananas comosus) is native to South America and is part of the family of Bromeliaceae plants. Pineapple is a tropical, edible fruit and has been cultivated for centuries. The forest exportation of pineapple occurred in the 17th century in Europe. Beyond the 1820’s, pineapple has been cultivated in plantations in the Hawaiian islands.
Pineapples grow readily from the flowers of the plant. Maturation occurs within a year and the plant can be propagated from a root or top of the fruit itself. In 2020, the Philippines led the global production of pineapples, at around 28 million tonnes. Recently, the advent of canning, drying and cooking fruits meant that pineapple revolutionised pineapple consumption worldwide. Nowadays pineapple is enjoyed across many parts of the world.
What Is Dried Pineapple?
Dried pineapple is a tangy, sweet and delicious twist on a favourite tropical fruit. Full of antioxidants, fibre and vitamin C, indulging in this sunshine-gold fruit couldn’t be easier. Dried pineapple that’s been dried without preservatives or added sugar ensures a naturally sweet and vibrant taste. Australian dried pineapple is just that. A sweet, chewy morsel that’s a tiny bit tart to taste. These golden fruit rings are perfect for on-the-run snacking, kids lunches or really any time of the day.
How Is Dried Pineapple Made?
There’s many ways dried fruit can be made. Usually, open air sun drying is a natural and effective method of drying fruit. This method is commonly used in the production of sultanas, figs and cranberries. Ideally, dried fruit manufacturers want to maintain the nutritional content as well as taste and appearance of the natural fruit in its dried form. And in many cases, dried fruit has a higher concentration of polyphenols, which makes them potentially healthier than their fresh fruit.
Australian dried pineapple begins as a fresh, juicy local pineapple. After removing the top, coring and removing the outer skin, what remains is the succulent pineapple flesh. The pineapple is then sliced into rings and allowed to dry naturally in the sun. There’s no need for preservatives, additives, added sugar or anything else. The result is a concentrated pineapple flavour, in easy and convenient golden rings.
Sometimes, relying on the elements isn’t always practical, and doesn’t yield the same quality of dried fruit in the final product. It's for this reason that it's common to see a few different methods employed by manufacturers of dried fruit, including dried pineapple. Improved solar drying, open sun drying and cloth shade drying are among the most used forms of drying fruit, as close to nature as possible.
Are Dried Pineapple Rings Healthy?
In a word, yes. Dried pineapple is a healthy snack option that retains many of the same nutrients as its fresh counterpart. Here’s some of the reasons why dried pineapple is good for your health:
- 100% Australian Grown
- Locally harvested and dried
- No preservatives or additives
- No added sugar
- Full of dietary fibre
- High in Vitamin C
- High in Manganese
- High in antioxidant polyphenols
Like some other dried fruit, there’s plenty of health benefits to enjoy. Dried pineapple is high in dietary fibre, which means they're a wonderful option if you’re wanting to support gut function and promote a healthy microbiome. A diet that includes a mix of soluble and insoluble fibre helps your brain health, mood and immune health, all while enhancing your digestion.
Most people think of oranges when it comes to vitamin C-rich foods. Did you know that pineapple is a valuable source of this nutrient as well? Along with Kakadu plums, pineapples make the list of foods highest in vitamin C. Getting enough vitamin C is crucial for many different physiological processes in the body. Stress and nervous system function depend heavily on adequate vitamin C levels. Moreover, vitamin C from foods such as dried pineapple are associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
Boost your nutrient intake easily with delicious, Australian-grown dried pineapple rings. Ensuring you get enough of the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants every day couldn't be more delicious or convenient.
Bromelain: What Are The Benefits & Risks?
The polyphenol unique to pineapple is bromelain. This compound is present in all parts of the pineapple, including the leaves, fruit, crown and core. Some research shows that pineapple crowns are a highly concentrated reservoir of bromelain. Bromelain is protective against oxidative cell damage and has specific enzymatic activity when consumed.
Bromelain is known as a proteolytic enzyme. Proteolytic enzymes break down peptides (proteins) into smaller amino acids. For this reason, bromelain has undergone scientific evaluation for the potential treatment of certain diseases. It has some preliminary data showing effectiveness in skin disorders and for treatment of burn scars.
It’s possible for some people to be allergic to bromelain. The symptoms of this allergic response include red, itchy skin around the mouth and nose following consumption of fresh pineapple. Occasionally, an allergic reaction can be severe enough to restrict airways and cause asthma.
Tinned, preserved and cooked pineapple usually contain no or minimal amounts of bromelain. This is because heat denatures (breaks down) the enzymatic activity of bromelain. Some people who usually experience a burning sensation from fresh pineapple can sometimes tolerate cooked or dried pineapple. If you have any doubt, always consult the advice of a health professional.
Health Benefits of Dried Pineapple
Dried Pineapple Is Anti-inflammatory
The range of polyphenols in pineapple fruit are an important reason why pineapples are so healthy. Several types of phytochemical compounds exist in pineapples. These include gallic acid, ferulic acid, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, epicatechins and bromelain. Some of these compounds have a robust amount of research to support their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in the body. Many plant compounds protect against neurodegenerative diseases, while others protect against cancer and heart disease.
Dried Pineapple Has Anti-cancer Properties
Pineapple vinegar, which can be produced from the fermentation of dried pineapple, is high in gallic and caffeic acid. These polyphenol compounds inhibit cancer cell proliferation and are chemoprotective. A recent in vitro and in vivo study measured the anti-cancer properties of pineapple vinegar.
In this study, tumour size was significantly reduced in a mouse model. Inflammatory cytokines, which are central to cancer development, were also lower. Pineapple has some powerful anti-cancer potential, because of its high polyphenol and anti-inflammatory impact on cancer cells.
Is Dried Pineapple Good For Digestion?
The bromelain naturally found in pineapples can support healthy digestion. This compound is commonly used in natural medicine alongside quercetin (from citrus) and papain (from papaya) to help break down proteins into smaller amino acids.
Nutritionally, bromelain mimics the action of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The suggested application is to support your body’s natural ability to break down protein structures and to stimulate pancreatic and gallbladder activity. It can be quite strong as a nutritional supplement, and it’s best to proceed with caution as a result.
It’s important to know, however, that dried pineapple contains very little or no bromelain. Cooked and dried pineapple has been processed. After processing, the activity of bromelain is significantly diminished. So if you’re looking for pineapple to aid protein digestion and absorption, it’s best to consume fresh pineapple.
How To Use Dried Pineapple
There’s so many ways to enjoy Australian dried pineapple. Wherever dried mango, dried apple or coconut flakes find their way into your cooking, dried pineapple can be used as well. Here’s a few examples for inspiration:
- Chop them and add to granola or trail mix
- Adorn cakes and desserts at your next celebration
- Dress a Christmas ham with fresh and dried pineapple
- Soak in warm water to rehydrate and blitz into a smoothie or atop ice cream
- Add rehydrated dried pineapple to a summer salad
How To Store Dried Pineapple
Dried pineapple is best kept in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight. If you’re somewhere warm and humid, place your dried pineapple in the fridge for maximum shelf life. Otherwise, dried pineapple can be stored for up to 12 months in most climates if stored correctly.
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