Have you ever heard of the PinkGlow Pineapple? I’ve personally been really interested in trying one for the longest time, as I’ve seen pictures of it pop up on my Instagram every now and again, and I would see articles about it in industry news stories. Considering my day job as a food scientist, I’m generally in the know about new food innovations, so I’ve had my eye on this fun new fruit for the past couple of years, and I’ve always wanted to try it.
The PinkGlow Pineapple is grown and sourced by Del Monte Foods, and they are the only purveyor of PinkGlow pineapples (as of this writing). The pineapples are grown exclusively in Costa Rica, and are available to purchase online for around $30-60 apiece. The pineapples are shipped without their crowns, as they replant crowns to start new plants in order to continue producing these beautiful fruits.
The PinkGlow Pineapples get their beautiful pink hue by the addition of lycopene to the fruit. Although it sounds like a scary chemical, lycopene is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruits, and is what gives these fruits their beautiful red and pink hues. Lycopene is classified as a carotenoid, which makes it related to beta-carotene, another plant pigment found in many orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and contributes to overall health by protecting cells from damage. Colorful foods (greens, oranges, reds, and purples) are all full of different colorful compounds that promote health in many ways, and lycopene is simply one of these compounds that are found naturally in red and pink foods.
Lycopene is found naturally in pineapples, however the PinkGlow pineapples have been genetically engineered to allow the pineapples to express more of the lycopene than a traditional (yellow) pineapple would, therefore resulting in that beautiful, pink hue. In a traditional (yellow) pineapple, enzymes are present in higher concentrations, which suppresses the lycopene concentration and allows the yellow coloring (from beta carotene) shine through. By altering the enzymes present, the lycopene is expressed in higher concentrations, therefore making the resulting fruit pink instead of yellow. Science!
Now that you’ve made it through my science lesson, I’m sure you’re wondering – but how did it taste? I have to say, I really liked the flavor of the PinkGlow pineapple far better than a traditional pineapple. The flavor of the PinkGlow pineapple was sweet, less acidic, and had a bit of a fruitier, more candy-like flavor compared to a traditional pineapple. Plus, with the beautiful, bright pink color, it just felt fun to eat!
With this in mind though, I don’t think I would start regularly spending $30 on a pineapple just because it tasted a little bit better and looked a little more fun than the original fruit. Pineapple is delicious as it is, and the extra price tag isn’t fully worth replacing the delicious yellow option with the pink ones. However, for extra special occasions or if you’re (like me) just really curious and interested in trying it, give the PinkGlow a chance and try it out! I’m really glad that I finally got to sample it and hope to get to have one again sometime in the future.
I would love to know in the comments if anyone else has tried the PinkGlow pineapple, or if you are interested in trying one out now that you’ve read this. In the spirit of full transparency, I was gifted my pineapple through my day job in the food industry. Although this blog post was not at all sponsored by Del Monte and I didn’t receive the pineapple to try in exchange for this post, I did receive the pineapple for free. Take all of that with a grain of salt while reading this post!
Interesting! You gotta commend Del Monte’s scientists for doing that.
For the longest time, I’ve seen Del Monte Philippines promote lycopene as the main beneficial compound in tomatoes — and its tomato products (ketchup, tomato sauce, etc.)
Maybe this paves the way for a lycopene-rich pineapple juice in the future!