PMM College - Part 9 Pineapple know-how

Paul M. Müller's exclusive "PMM College" commodity guide is all about the pineapple this time - the status symbol in the late 17th century.

The exotic fruit was a new arrival in Europe at the time - brought from Guadeloupe - and so rare and sought-after, but also so foreign, that it was extremely expensive and considered the ultimate showpiece.

The fruit "pineapple" is distinguished according to the different varieties. The variety best known to us in canned form and most suitable for industrial processing is "Smooth Cayenne". It is mainly cultivated and processed in Thailand, Indonesia and Kenya. It has the most intense flavour due to its high acidity. There is also the "Spanish Queen" from Indonesia and the "Queen variety" from Vietnam. This variety is mainly used in deep-freeze processing, has a strong yellow colour, but is not as aromatic in taste.

If we focus on "Smooth Cayenne", we distinguish between the individual qualities "Standard" (mainly traded quality in Germany, pale yellow), "Choice" (more yellow, because riper in colour and taste) and "Fancy" (strong yellow and with high own fruit sweetness).

Pineapple slices are traded according to the size of the "ring diameter": In a 580 ml can, for example, mainly ring size 2, of which there are then 10 slices per can, is traded. An 850 ml can contains only 8 whole slices of ring 1, which have a correspondingly greater slice thickness. For the production of the pineapple pieces, either 14, 16 (the common number of pieces from ring 2) or 18 pieces are cut from these respective ring sizes.

By using another cutter, pineapple cubes are also produced from the slices. While so-called standard products are also produced from broken slices, only whole slices are used for the production of the better "Tidbits quality". Pineapple rasps are produced from too small whole fruits or more broken pineapple parts. However, pineapple is also a very popular raw material for the beverage industry worldwide.
 By the way: When it comes to the sweetness of pineapple, a distinction is usually made between sugared (mostly in "choice" goods with a Brix content of 18-20), lightly sugared (standard goods, 14-17 Brix), in pineapple juice (only fructose) as well as water pack (especially suitable for diabetics, as no sugar is added). In the retail trade, the current trend is from "sugared" or "lightly sugared" to "pineapple juice" in order to satisfy the health aspect.

Our expert

Fabian Kretschmer

General manager, contact person for apples, pineapples, figs, cherries, mandarin oranges, orange segments, peaches, artichokes, jalapenos, olives, pepper, pizza sauce and snails.

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