After 16 years of bioengineering*, Fresh Del Monte Produce has released Pinkglow™ pineapples, presenting it as an exclusive and luxurious fruit.
Before you turn away at the thought of bioengineered food, note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Pinkglow the thumbs up.
They explain that “there are no unresolved safety or regulatory questions about the pineapple.”
The “new pineapple has been genetically engineered to produce lower levels of the enzymes already in conventional pineapple that convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene.
“Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed [source].”
This is not your everyday-eating pineapple; it’s a splurge. Each fruit costs $29, plus expedited shipping (prices will vary by vendor).
The Pinkglow pineapple looks like a regular pineapple on the outside—a pineapple on the smaller size.
But cut it open and you’ll find that its interior is 100% rosy pink.
The bummer is that, in the name of sustainability, the crowns of the pineapples (the leafy tops) are cut off before shipping. So Pinkglow won’t make a dramatic centerpiece.
The crowns are replanted to grow new pineapples. It takes two years to grow a new one (who knew that the top of the pineapple regenerates into a new pineapple?).
Pinkglows are grown exclusively by Fresh Del Monte, in Costa Rica.
We were fortunate to try a Pinkglow, and novel experience:
Lycopene is a natural pigment that gives numerous fruits and vegetables their pinkish or reddish color.
It is a carotenoid, and is currently the most powerful antioxidant that has been measured in food.
While studies continue, it is believed to play a role in preventing cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration [source].
Fruits and vegetables that are high in lycopene include asparagus†, cooked tomatoes, guavas, mangos, papayas, pink grapefruits, persimmons, red cabbages, sweet red peppers and watermelons.
Pinkglows will be available nationwide at retail—but not just yet.
For now, you can only order them online at PinkglowPineapple.com.
While they’re pricey today, they should be much more affordable at retail.
For now, the precious pineapples are perishable‡, and require two-day shipping.
If you do receive a Pinkglow, check the FAQ on the website to see how to store it.
*Bioengineered (BE) foods, also referred to as genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GM) are foods for which the DNA of the source organism has been artificially modified in some way, ordinarily to alter traits of that organism [source].
†You may be surprised that green asparagus is on the list of high-level lycopene foods. But not all lycopene-rich foods are pinkish or reddish.
‡Pineapples are harvested when ripe. Given the time for shipping from the field to your grocer, they should be consumed fairly soon after you buy them.
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