Like any other fruit or agricultural product, pineapples have certain quality and aesthetic standards by which they are classified for retail sale. Regardless of the specific pineapple variety, be it Golden MD2, Cayenne, or any other, there are certain universal traits for fruit classification. The highest pineapple classification is Extra class, followed by classes 1 and 2. Extra class pineapples usually procure the highest international prices and are sold whole, given their aesthetic appeal. Meanwhile, lower pineapple classifications, such as class 1 or 2, can either be sold whole or sold after processing as canned fruit or as a juice.
Within the fruit juice category, pineapple is one of the main varieties currently traded internationally, alongside orange, grapefruit, other citrus, and tomato. Furthermore, within this fruit juice category, the global trade totals approximately US$13 billion. Similarly, the world’s major fruit juice exporters are Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United States. On the other hand, the main importers of fruit juice internationally are the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
Pineapple Standards and How to Find the Right One
Firstly, Extra class pineapples are of superior quality. They must be free of defects, with the exception of slight superficial bruises, provided these do not affect the general appearance of the produce, its quality, or the presentation in the package. In Extra class pineapples, the crown, if present, shall be simple and straight with no sprouts, and must be between 50% and 150% of the length of the fruit in the case of untrimmed crowns.
Likewise, class 1 pineapples are those that present slight defects in the following ways. They can only have slight defects in shape; slight defects in coloring, including sunspots; or slight skin defects, such as scratches, scars, scrapes, and blemishes, as long as these defects do not exceed 4% of the fruit’s total surface area. In class 1 pineapples, the defects must not, in any case, affect the pulp of the fruit. Furthermore, the crown, if present, shall be simple and straight or slightly curved with no sprouts, and must be between 50% and 150% per cent of the length of the fruit, be it for either trimmed or untrimmed crowns.
Meanwhile, class 2 pineapples are allowed the following defects provided that the fruit retains its essential characteristics regarding the quality and the presentation. Class 2 pineapples can have defects in shape; defects in coloring, including sunspots; and skin defects, such as scratches, scars, scrapes, bruises, and blemishes, as long as these defects do not exceed 8% of the fruit’s total surface area. Similarly, none of these defects can affect the pulp of the fruit in any case.