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Latin Name: Ananas Comosus


The pineapple is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay where wild relatives occur. It was spread by the Indians up through South and Central America to the West Indies before Columbus arrived. In 1493 Columbus found the fruit on the island of Guadaloupe and carried it back to Spain and it was spread around the world on sailing ships that carried it for protection against scurvy. The Spanish introduced it into the Philippines and may have taken it to Hawaii and Guam early in the 16th Century. The pineapple reached England in 1660 and began to be grown in greenhouses for its fruit around 1720.

The name pineapple in English comes from the similarity of the fruit to a pine cone.


The word "pineapple", first recorded in 1398, was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them "pineapples" (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because it resembled what we know as pine cones. The term "pine cone" was first recorded in 1694 to replace the original meaning of "pineapple".



Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which digests food by breaking down protein. Pineapple nectar can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. The enzymes in pineapples can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly or other gelaten-based desserts. These enzymes can be hazardous to someone suffering from certain protein deficiencies or disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. There is significant evidence pointing to the anti-inflammatory benefits of bromelain. 



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