Pink pineapples could soon be brightening up your breakfast

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Amy Swales
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Often surprising pineapple fact number one: pineapples don’t grow on trees. They grow on ground-based plants. Often surprising pineapple fact number two: pineapples do not continue to ripen and get sweeter once picked. They taste how they taste and that’s that.

What you may not know, however, is that pink pineapples exist and may be on their way to a shop near you sooner than you think.

Yep, that’s pink as in pink, as in blush, pastel, candy, millennial, pale pink pineapples that you can eat. And not only are they pink, they’re sweeter than the yellow originals.

While ornamental mini ‘dwarf’ pink pineapples have been available at flower markets and shops for years, in December last year genetically modified edible ones were given the go ahead.

Famous fruit purveyors Del Monte filed a patent for the blush fruit – officially known as Rosé and grown in Costa Rica – in 2012 after years of work on the down-low, and in December 2016 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it regarded them as “safe and nutritious”.

The fruit has “extra sweet pink flesh”, ridding it of that characteristic lip-smacking sting present in the golden ones.

The colour is achieved by manipulating the genes that usually control shade – in this case, allowing the carotenoid pigment lycopene (responsible for the red in fruits such as tomatoes) to shine through. This, according to the patent, results in a “light red” flesh and a “tiger” shell, which is a combination of green, yellow, orange and red.

While some recent reports have pointed to the Dole Plantation in Hawaii also producing pink pineapples, Del Monte has the patent so it’s not clear whether the fruits tourists have been snapping at Dole are intended for human consumption or are larger versions of the decorative ones. Given the Del Monte patent refers to a multi-coloured tiger shell, it seems likely the ones at Dole are not exactly the same.

There’s no word yet on when the edible versions of the blush fruit may be available to buy, but with the FDA waving it through, it can’t be long now.

Pink pineapples: a way to further your dream of an entirely candy-coloured diet or an unnecessary twist on a favourite?

Images: Rex Features



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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.