The pineapple is probably one of the most confusing fruits around because of its appearance. It has vitamin C and all the other good things found in other fruits, but it looks nothing like the more common fruits purchased in supermarkets. So what makes the pineapple so special in terms of its appearance?
What Fruit Type Is a Pineapple?
Believe it or not, the pineapple is a type of berry. In botany, the fruit of the pineapple plant is called the collective fruit. When the pineapple plant’s flowers begin to mature, they begin to create small fruits that eventually form a larger, collective unit called the collective fruit.
Essentially, what you are buying is a lot of little pineapples stuck together in one large mega-fruit. Each of the units or ‘eyes’ of the pineapple corresponds to one pineapple berry. Though yes, it is simple to refer to the entire collective fruit structure as just ‘a pineapple.’
It’s more of culture than a scientific thing to those who are confused about the naming or terminology of the pineapple. The pineapple is not related to the pine tree, nor is it related to the apple. It certainly is not pine, and no, we can’t call a pineapple something like an apple fruit.
There are so many differences; the primary one is the pineapple’s plant structure. Apples grow on trees; pineapples do not. However, the pineapple does grow on a shrubby plant, which truly aligns it with other berries.
The pineapple is a bromeliad. Surprisingly, this special cluster of plants can be traced to aerial plants that are so tiny you will barely notice them in a forest.
Why Is the Pineapple a Berry?
The pineapple is technically a berry because it contains seeds (the wild ones), and there is a fleshy body covered by skin. While the ripe pineapple does not present itself as individual berries, the fusing together of the ripe pineapple berries into a singular big structure does not take away the fact that you are handling a berry and not something like a citrus fruit.
Historically, pineapples are ideal for long naval voyages because they contained a lot of vitamin C. The lack of vitamin C back in the day caused scurvy, so taking many pineapples for a long trip is life and death for sailors and merchants in the sea.
What about the infamous bromelain content of pineapples? Bromelain refers to different digestive enzymes contained within pineapples. Yes, indeed, the bromelain can technically ‘soften’ the protein of the lining of your mouth by acting upon collagen, which is one of the building blocks of protein.
However, when you eat bromelain, your gastric tract destroys it or renders it harmless, so you don’t have to worry about your pineapple slices fighting back and eating you from the inside.