Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Currently, I am reading a book by Sylvia A. Johnson : TOMATO, POTATOES, CORN AND BEANS~ How the foods of the Americas changed eating around the world. When I came on the section ‘Pineapple’ , I was surprise that this tropical fruit actually originated from the New World. Pineapple was not a native fruit that has been growing thousands years in my birth country but was introduced by people who came to Tanah Melayu for trading. I was very good in history during my early education and I remember we did have to learn a bit about what plant we trade during British imperialism. In Malaysia form 2 secondary school history textbook we were taught that before World War 2, Malaysia was the second biggest canned pineapple exporter in the world. However, the textbook neglected to mention that pineapples are not native to us or did I misunderstood what I was reading back then. I think the next time I talked to my baby sister who is now a form 2 student, I ask her  where she think pineapple originated from. Johor state used to have one of the largest plantations in Malaysia which has a town named after pineapple “Pekan Nenas” (Pineapple town). There is also a Pineapple Museum near the town. I remember when I was working in Johor, on my way to a friend wedding we passed by “Pekan Nenas” and there was a big pineapple replica welcoming people to their town.

A few minutes after reading the book, I suddenly remember I completely forgotten about my pineapple plants. How are they coping with Adelaide winter this year? I was a bit homesick, pregnant and still in the state of denial about Rayyan heart condition during that time I planted the pineapple crown from the pineapple fruit we bought from Adelaide Central Market. I have two pineapple plants now and they are 15 months old. We called them P1 and P2 like Ilhan favourite show Bananas in Pyjamas. Looking at my pineapples today, they don’t look that bad and I have faith they will survive the second cold season. When spring comes, P1 and P2 will pick up growth quickly again. Hopefully they bear fruit before I complete my studies. I grow snow peas between the pineapples now. Take a guess~ How long does a pineapple take to produce fruit in Adelaide?


This information about pineapple is taken from the official website of Malaysian Pineapple Industrial Board http://www.mpib.gov.my/web/guest/home.

Christoper Columbus is the one who introduces pineapple to the whole world. He discovered the pineapple fruit in the Carribean waters on November 1493 during his second voyage there. Since then, pineapple has been widely known globally and was later introduced to 'Tanah Melayu' in the 16th century by the portuguese. In Portugal during the old days, the price of pineapple is too expensive and can only be enjoyed by the high rank community only and because of that, it is known as Royal Fruit. The first illustration of pineapple was printed in 1535 by Fater Oveido in the ‘Universal of India’. He first witnessed the pineapple tree during his visit to America in the year 1513 and is instantly attracted to the uniqueness of the pineapple fruit and started to sketch it.At one time in Europe, pineapple is regarded as a superior tropical fruit and is a symbol of family and love spirit and as a symbol of welcome to the guests.

Canned pineapple was first introduced in 1901. In 1911, an engineer by the name of Henry Ginaca has invented a machine which is capable of peeling the skin and pith of 100 pineapples in 1 minute. Until now, ‘Mesin Ginaca’ was still used widely.

The 'Hutan Simpan Bukit Nanas' which took its name in commemoration of this pineapple cultivation is situated in the centre of the Kuala Lumpur City and was journalized as a Permanent Forest Reserve in 1906 with an area size of approximately 17.50 hectares. According to history, the name 'Bukit Nanas' existed after the hill area is planted with pineapple trees which acted as a defence wall by the original King.

Pineapple is an authentic crop to Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Its original name, 'ananas' is a word originating from the 'Tupi' people, which is the original race from Brazil. It means "a very good fruit". Worldwide, there are various local names for pineapple. The Englishmen calles it 'pineapple' due to its shape which resembles a pine tree, ‘pina’ for the Spanish, ‘Na-na’ for the native Americans which means 'fragrant', ‘Anana’ for the French, and ‘Ananaz’ for the Portuguese. Pineapple is the 3rd most important tropical fruit in the world after banana and mango. In Malaysia, pineapple is the most important fruit tree and is given priority.

In the modern medication, pineapple is used as a digestion agent to decrease the swollen effects after a surgery or also after suffering from physical injuries. Pineapple is also believed to treat cancer, whereby molecules which is extracted by pineapple known as CCS molecule prevents protein known as Ras. Another molecule known as CCZ strenghthes the patient immunity system to fight cancer cells. Pineapple has a high sugar content and also rich with vitamin A, B dan C. In traditional medication, pineapple is an important ingredient which smoothen the menstrual flow, solve digestion and hydration problems, urine, body worms, tiredness, and undigested urine as a result of bromelin enzyme content. Apart from being eaten, pineapple can also be used as a meat softening agent, and wood and metal cleaning agent. Its husk can be produced into textile and string, net, paper, and rope. Its dregs can be processed into animal foods, while its juice can be produces into perfume and cosmetic products.

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