How Long Does It Take for a Pineapple to Ripen?
In this article, we help answer the question “how long does it take for a pineapple to ripen?” Stick around as we share the answer along with some fun facts about pineapples.
Ah, pineapple – the insignia of the tropical; a juicy delight that sits just between the tastes of sweet and tart.
Known for its juiciness and loads of nutritional promises, the pineapple has always been considered one of the most necessary commercial fruit crops in the world. From canned goods, dried products, drinks, jams, and many more, the fruit has always been present in the global market, making it a year-round option for consumers even outside the tropics.
If you’re a pineapple enthusiast, you know that pineapple can only be fully enjoyed once it has ripened. From the promise of a perfectly sweet, slightly tangy taste to the thought of the fruit’s vibrant juiciness, a ripe pineapple presents a vast range of delight.
Coming from this, it is only safe to say that knowing when a pineapple is ripe is valuable information that will enable you to get the most out of this juicy fruit. To help you fulfill that, here is a comprehensive discussion on how to tell whether the pineapple you’re eyeing is ripe and ready to be picked.
What is a Pineapple?
“Ananas comosus” refers to the large, oval fruit found in hot countries, commonly known as pineapple. In terms of appearance, the pineapple isn’t your typical friendly-looking fruit. In fact, it displays a wild, rugged look with its thick, leathery skin and spiky leaves on top.
However, despite its outward appearance, the fruit’s fleshy content promises a sweet, slightly tangy flavor sure to give everyone a taste of the tropics.
Interestingly, the fruit’s undeniable popularity in the West dates back as far as the time of Christopher Columbus. According to many historians, Columbus, along with his crew, are believed to be the first people from the European continent to have tasted the fruit after discovering it on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. Since then, pineapples have been imported into Europe where they gained prominence, especially among members of the European royal families. Given its scarcity and rarity during the colonial period, the pineapple soon emerged as a symbol of status, wealth, and hospitality.
To date, while science has made the fruit available year-round, the status of pineapple as an in-demand tropical product remains prevalent. In fact, the product now ranks as the third most consumed fruit in the world, after bananas and citrus fruits; with Hawaii, Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Thailand, Costa Rica, and China as the leading importers within the industry.
Health Benefits of a Pineapple
As mentioned earlier, the pineapple promises tons of nutritional benefits. In fact, it’s been used in folk medicine since ancient times. The fruit is rich in vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants; thus, making it a good option to boost the immune system, strengthen the bones, or relieve indigestion.
To give you a brief background on just how nutritious this fruit is, here are some of the health benefits that you should know about:
It is rich in Vitamin C
Perhaps one of the main benefits of pineapple is that it serves as a good source of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. In fact, one serving of the fruit can provide a person with more than enough Vitamin C for the day. As a result, pineapples can help people at risk of potential cardiovascular disease and joint pain. Moreover, since the vitamin acts as an antioxidant that fights cell damage, it also makes pineapple a good fruit choice for people who want to repel uneven skin tone, fine lines, or even red marks.
It’s good for weight loss
If you want to lose some weight, look no further than pineapple. Not only is the fruit rich in fiber which aids in digestion, but it also comes with a variety of nutrients and enzymes that help boost the metabolism. Aside from this, since pineapple has a high water content, consuming it will give you a “full” feeling. This will help curb your appetite and control your eating habits.
It helps in bone strengthening
Another health benefit associated with pineapple is its role in maintaining strong bones. Since the fruit contains a lot of manganese, a trace mineral essential for bone health, taking it will help improve one’s overall bone and mineral density. In fact, a single cup of pineapple contains about 76 percent of the suggested daily value of manganese. This makes the tropical fruit a recommended choice for older adults and those who are suffering from weak bones.
How Long Does It Take for a Pineapple to Ripen?
Now that we’ve had a brief discussion on what a pineapple is and its health benefits, let’s return to our original question: How long does it take to ripen a pineapple? To answer it simply, it takes years before the fruit reaches its peak state.
Generally, it takes around 28 months for the pineapple to flower once planted; and another six months for its fruit to ripen.
However, this can vary depending on certain factors, such as the temperature of the location and the type and size of the plant.
Specifically, since pineapple is a tropical plant, it requires warmer temperatures to ripen, specifically between 68- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit.
While it may still thrive in locations that have temperatures outside the given range, the pineapple’s growth and ripening time will take much longer.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the type and size of the plant used for propagation, recent studies have revealed that larger or heavier plants promise more vigorous growth than smaller or lighter ones.
How to Tell if a Pineapple Is Already Ripe and Ready for Picking?
Of course, knowing the estimated time for a pineapple to ripen isn’t enough to determine whether your plant is indeed ready to be picked. To make it easier for you to know whether it’s time to get harvest your the fruit, we have prepared the three tell-tale signs you should look for.
Examine the color
Similar to all other fruits, examining the pineapple’s outward color will help you determine whether the fruit is ripe. Generally, the more yellow the fruit’s skin, the riper it is. However, this doesn’t mean that the top and the bottom portions of the fruit should be covered in golden yellow. In fact, some pineapples are already ripe even if they are still partially covered in green. To help you easily determine its true state, it’s best to examine the stem of the pineapple. Since this is the part that feeds sugar to the fruit, it must be from there that the pineapple changes color. Be wary also of the difference between what’s fresh and what’s already in decay. Keep in mind that a fresh fruit presents a yellow coloration at the base of the fruit. But, a deteriorating pineapple presents a dark orange color.
Feel the fruit
Another way you can determine whether a pineapple is ripe is by touching it and lightly squeezing the fruit. As a general rule, if the pineapple feels slightly soft to the touch, this means you can pick the fruit. One the other hand, if it doesn’t budge, this means that the pineapple needs more time to ripen.
Here’s another option: if you’re still unsure whether the fruit is ripe, trust what your nose tells you. Simply flip the pineapple over and give its base a sniff. If you smell a sweet scent, this means that the pineapple is good to go. However, if you can hardly smell a fruit scent at all, this likely means that the pineapple needs some time to reach its peak state.
The Bottom Line
Has your pineapple already ripened? Sweet, juicy, and fresh – surely, you’ll never run out of good descriptions to attach to pineapple. Known for its vibrant flavor that seems to enliven the tongue, this fruit is sure to give you a taste of the wild tropics.