Pineapple (Ananas comoscs) is an important tropical fruit. It is the only important fruit crop in the family Bromeliaceae. Its importance is reflected in the ranking of commercial tropical fruits for production on a worldwide basis by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in which pineapple comes second after bananas. However, from once a major producer in the world in the 1970s, Malaysia has fallen to the 15th position based on 2014 data, according to the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB). Still, pineapple remains a major fruit crop in Malaysia, amongst other major fruit crops such as papaya, pomelo, banana, water melon, jackfruit, and mango (Department of Agriculture, 2013). MPIB is the major force for planning and boosting pineapple industrial planting and its downstream industry.
Currently there are nine major pineapple varieties planted in Malaysia, namely Moris, N36, Sarawak, Moris Gajah, Gandul, Yankee, Josapine, Masapine and most recently MD2.
MD2 is known by its trade names as “Golden Ripe”, “Super Sweet”, “Rompine” or “Gold”. Compared to other pineapple cultivars, MD2 is better in several qualities. Among them are: uniform bright gold colour, sweeter taste, fourtimes Vitamin C content, lower fiber, lower acidity, thinner skin, smaller fruits at an average of 1.5 kg each, and longer shelf life. Additionally, because of its superior eating qualities, MD2 can command three times the price of other pineapple varieties. These are the major factors that have motivated pineapple planters to grow MD2. For example, pineapple planters in Ghana have replace the Smooth Cayenne varieties with MD2. Because MD2 has longer shelf-life of 30 compared to 21 days for other varieties, it performs better in long-distance shipping. Prior to MD2, consumers outside the tropics had to consume mostly canned pineapples. With the arrival of MD2, these consumers can finally enjoy fresh pineapples
A one-acre (0.4 ha) nursery of 25,000 butts, therefore, yields between 100,000 and 200,000 suckers.
The higher up that yellow color goes, the more evenly a pineapple will be flavored. That color, plus a pleasant, mild pineapple aroma at the base are the best guides to ripeness.
- Choose fresh-looking pineapples with green leaves and a firm shell. The pineapple should also have a small amount of “give” when squeezed gently.
- You should be able to smell the distinctive pineapple smell when you put your nose close to the bottom of the fruit.