THE IMPORTANCE AND USEFULNESS OF PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) belongs to the family Bromeliaceae. It is a perennial monocotyledonous herb with a terminal inflorescence and fruit. Pineapple is a native of Southern Brazil and Paraguay where wild relatives occur. The crop was spread by the Indians up through to South and Central America to the West Indies. Spanish traders introduced it into the Philippines and may have taken it to England in 1660. By 1720, the crop was grown in green house in England, from where it came to West Africa in the 18th century (Sampson, 1986; Ubi et al. 2008). According to Ubi et al. (2006), the crop is drought tolerant and well adapted to the tropical acid sand with pH ranging from
4.5 to 6.5 and the crop is propagated by new vegetative growth. Pineapple have oval to cylindrical shape fruit and develops from many small fruits fused together. The Pineapple fruit may be dark green, orange, yellow or reddish when the fruit is ripe for harvest. The fruit is both juicy and freshly with the stem serving as fibrous core (Sampso, 1986).
Collins (1980) and David and Adam (1991) stated that the primary area of world production of pineapple are Philippine, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and parts of Africa. Pineapples are produced in many tropical region of Africa, where rainfall are adequate and are mostly consumed locally (Alika, 2005) while pineapples are produced and even exported by Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Nigeria (Rice et al. 1990).
It is cultivated in all tropical and sub-tropical countries. Annual world production has tripled during the last 30 years and now exceeds 12 million tonnes. Most of this production (70%) is locally consumed as fresh fruit. World trade mainly consists of processed products of which 80% canned slices (1,065,000 tonnes) and juice (215,000 tonnes) is supplied by Thailand and the Philippines. The fresh fruit market (680,000 tonnes) is dominated by the Philippines, Costa Rica and Côte d’Ivoire which supplies 60 percent of the European market, the leading importer with more than 226,000 tonnes (FAO, 1994; Loeillet, 1996). Thailand is the leading pineapple producer (16% of world production), followed by Brazil (13%) and the Philippines (13%), India (8.9%) and China (7.3%). Important American producers are Colombia (329,300 tonnes), Mexico (301,407 tonnes), Costa Rica (260,000 tonnes), and the U.S.A. (Hawaii and Puerto Rico, 301,000 tonnes). About 70% of the world production and 96% of the pineapple used by the processing industries comes from one cultivar, „Smooth Cayenne‟. The cultivar Queen has occupied small specific niches of high quality and expensive fresh fruit. Recently, the pineapple industry has responded to the increasing demand for fresh pineapple in the temperate markets with the introduction of more attractive cultivars such as „MD2‟, also named „Golden Ripe‟.
Pineapple is the second fruit of importance after bananas, contributing to over 20 percent of the world production of tropical fruits (Coveca, 2002) with Thailand, Brazil, Philippines and China the main pineapple producers in the world. Other important producers include India, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, Mexico and Cost Rica and these countries provide most of the remaining fruit available. Since 1960 pineapple production worldwide has risen by 400% and the world fresh/juice/canned pineapple trade has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Pineapples dominate the world trade of tropical fruits although other fruits have gained market share. Statistics from the year
2002 indicate that the pineapple trade took 51% from a total of 2.1 million tonnes of the whole fruit market with mangoes taking second place with 21.7% (FAO, 2002).
Nigeria takes the lead as the highest producer in Africa (Wobeh, 2008). Current production figure showed that Nigeria ranked 6th on the list for world pineapple production with nearly 800,000 tonnes produced annually and if current production and marketing trends are encouraged, commercial production for export and local consumption will be enhanced (FAO/World bank, 1999). In Nigeria, total production of pineapple in 2009 and 2010 was put at 898,376 and 1,052,000 tonnes respectively(FAO, 2010).
According to Katerina (2006), there are about 40 different varieties of pineapples. In international trade, the numerous pineapple cultivars are grouped in four main classes: ‘Smooth Cayenne’, ‘Red Spanish’, ‘Queen’, and ‘Abacaxi’, despite much variation in the types within each class. Smooth cayenne is the most important pineapple cultivar in Africa and throughout the tropics (Rice et al. 2001). The smooth cayenne or cayenne is the most popular canning variety, which is extensively cultivated in Hawaii, Philippines, Australia, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Mexico, Cuba and Formosa. The queen is an old cultivar and is grown mainly in Australia, India and South Africa, where it is cultivated for table and processing purpose. The flesh, although less juicy than cayenne is crispy, with a pleasant aroma. Acidity ranges between 0.6 and 0.8%.
Red Spanish is a semi-spineless cultivar grown primarily in West Africa and Germany and its fruits are intermediate in size between those of queen and smooth cayenne. It has some resistance to mealybug wilt disease (Rice et al. 2001). ‘Abacaxi’ (also called the ‘White Abacaxi of Pernambuco’, ‘Pernambuco’, ‘Eleuthera’ and ‘English’) is well known in Brazil, the Bahamas and Florida. The plant is spiny and disease-resistant. Leaves are bluish-green with red-purple tinge in the bud. The numerous suckers need thinning out. The fruit weighs 2.2 to 11 lbs (1-5 kg), is tall and straight-sided and sunburns even when erect and it is also very fragrant. The flesh is white or very pale yellowish, of rich, sweet flavor, succulent and juicy with only a narrow vestige of a core and this is rated by many as the most delicious pineapple. It is too tender for commercial handling and the yield is low. The fruit can be harvested without a knife; breaks off easily for marketing fresh. Other varieties include kew which is the leading commercial variety in India. It is a late maturing variety, valued particularly for its canning quality and is grown in some part of Maghalaya and Kerala in India.
Jaldhup and Lakhut, are both two local types, being named after the places of their maximum production. They fall in queen group of fruits being smaller than queen. Exotic varieties include Eleukera, Ihio, f-200 grown in U.S.A., G-25, Caynee de Guinea, Bsaronne de Rakschild, Comke de Paris grown in West Africa, Gueeustand in Australia, Sarawak in Malaysia, Yupi, Randon, Paulista in Brazil. According to EADP (2000), the Red Spanish variety is popularly grown in Edo State because of its high resistance to mealybug wilt disease.
Economic Importance of Pineapple in Nigeria
Pineapple is used mainly as food in the form of snacks and fruit-juice, while in most parts of the world the fermented juice is used to make vinegar and alcoholic spirit. Pineapple leaves are used to make cloth and rope, while the whole plant is used as a source of energy. Pineapple is eaten as a fresh fruit throughout the tropics and subtropics (David and Adam, 1991). The outer shells and central core are used as livestock feed.
Pineapple is a favorite desert of many health conscious individuals, its health benefits ranges from protection of simple flu to fighting off free radical that causes cancer. This inexpensive food supplement is a great way to achieve a healthy body and a cleansed internal system. Pineapple fiber helps for proper digestion of the food we eat and easier elimination of body waste and provides the necessary nutrients to our body.
The crown or leaves of pineapple is used as a raw material for wallpaper and furnishing. The leaves result to a very beautiful fabric, woven from the fiber extracted from its leaves. This fabric is a favorite material in creating the elegant “Barong Tagolog” in the Philippines, the fibers of pineapple leaf can also be extracted to produce the pine textile. It is also a good source of vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, manganese and a very essential anti- oxidant vitamin C.
Pineapple bromelain is use commercially as meat tenderizing enzyme and a nutraceutical. Bromelain has shown activity with the interference of growth of malignant cells, the inhibition of platelet aggregation, fibrinolytic action, anti- inflammatory processes and skin debridement.