DEHYDRATED PINEAPPLE – Nutritional Profile
A dehydrated fruit has all the fibre and vitamins as the regular presentation of the fruit. It just tastes sweeter due to the fact that the sugar is still there but there is less water.
There is an abundant supply of vitamins in pineapple, all of which are retained in the dehydrated fruit with the possible exception of vitamin c which is known to break down very quickly after harvest. Vitamins include C, A and E as well as B group vitamins Thiamine and Folates.
Minerals including manganese, copper and potassium are found in significant quantities alongside dietary fibre. Current thinking in dietary nutrition considers Glycemic Index (GI) which is the rate at which carbohydrate is released into the bloodstream. Low GI foods are regarded as more beneficial and dehydrated pineapple is regarded as having a medium GI.
DEHYDRATED PINEAPPLE – Health Benefits
Pineapples are low in calories so for all their health benefits are also a positive ingredient on any diet sheet. They are a source of Bromelian, which is found present in the core of the fruit. Enzymes present in Bromelian were initially thought to benefit the digestive system alone but now it is understood that the benefits are much wider and include a reduction of growth in some types of cancers and more generalised anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelian is also thought to be helpful in dissolving mucus. Instances of Bromelian aiding the action of certain antibiotics have also been reported as well as improvements in post trauma healing where Bromelain is present in the diet.
Vitamin C is the body’s most commonly used antioxidant and it is found in high quantity in pineapple. It is water soluble and therefore easily reaches most parts of the body. It protects against the effects of free radicals that can attach and damage normal cells and potentially turn them into precancerous and eventually cancerous cells. It has also been shown that free radicals increase the tendency for cholesterol to be deposited as plaques causing atherosclerosis as well as increasing pain associated from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and Vitamin C plays a significant part in combating this effect. Vitamin C is also necessary for the efficient operation of the immune system and will help protect against cold and flu like viral infections. Connective tissue in the body, such as ligaments, is built from collagen whose synthesis is dependent upon Vitamin C.
Magnesium is central to the process of energy production in cells and it’s presence with potassium helps regulate mitochondrial activity associated with the production of energy in cells. Energy production and regulation is further impacted by thiamine to a lesser degree, which is also present in pineapple.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) in the biggest cause of loss of sight in older adults and research has demonstrated that eating one and a half portions of dried fruit such as pineapple can reduce your risk of developing this condition by up to 36% due to the levels of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. A study of 110,000 men and women intake of three portion of fruit on a daily basis was identified as significant in increasing protection against the more virulent form of ARMD that leads to complete loss of vision.
High level of dietary fibre helps manage constipation and irregular bowel movement and can play a significant role in regulating the release of sugar into the blood stream.
Pineapple has also been documented as being an effective treatment for parasitic worm infections and for flushing out toxins from the kidneys very quickly.
DEHYDRATED PINEAPPLE – – Product History
The pineapple was originally named for its resemblance to the pine cone and because of its juicy fruit interior. The fruit consists of a sequence of berries that are joined together into one large fruit with an eye marking the centre of each berry.
It was discovered by Columbus who brought the fruit back to Europe for cultivation but all efforts failed as it requires a tropical climate to flourish.
The first major pineapple industry was established in Hawaii in the early 1900s by John Kidwell who established a canning business that still exists today. New technologies have added to the ways in which the fruit can be preserved, namely through dehydration. Fruit is dehydrated in an automatic process where the fruit is exposed to low temperature over a prolonged period. Temperatures are kept between 50˚C and 60˚C as this is the optimum temperature range for drying and retaining nutritional content. Canning for example, destroys the valuable Bomelian enzyme but it is retained in the dehydration process.
Technology has seen the development of freeze drying techniques but it is thought that the nutritional value is less well maintained when freeze drying techniques are employed.
Originally thought to have originated in the tropical rain forests of South America it is now produced in great swathes across Africa, Asian and South America. The Philippines is regarded as the world’s top producing nation, harvesting over 2 million ton in 2009 with Thailand, Costa Rica and Indonesia being the other significant growers of the fruit.
Pineapple is not commonly regarded as being allergenic having no measurable levels of oxalates or purines which often cause reaction.