If you’re someone like me who routinely reads news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you may have noticed that they just finished their investigation into the safety of Del Monte Fresh Produce’s pink flesh pineapple two days ago: They've reached the conclusion that it's safe for human consumption. At last!
Dubbed the Rosé pineapple, it's a fruit that's been genetically engineered to silence the enzymes that would typically convert the lycopene—the same pink pigment that gives tomatoes and watermelons their coloring—to beta carotene, found in the traditional pineapple or tangerine. These modifications make the pineapple’s fleshy tissue a vibrant pink. They're also said to make its taste infinitely sweeter.
Can't wait. Move over, Big Bird; send in the flamingo. The approval of the pink pineapple has been a long time coming. It’s been in testing purgatory since the beginning of the decade. Through the years, Del Monte's remained mum about what, exactly, the pineapple would look like. The tease has given rise to imaginative renderings.
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Last year, Timeestimated what the pink pineapple from Del Monte would look like:
Stunning! It also bears noting that lycopene is an antioxidant that has potential to combat cancer, giving this pineapple more than mere cosmetic value.
As for next steps, now that Del Monte has gained the blessing of the FDA, they’ll spend time growing the Rosé pineapple in Costa Rica, working closely with the country's government. I reached out to Del Monte for comment on how long this process may take, and when the pink flesh pineapple is primed to make its stateside debut. They haven’t responded to requests for comment as of writing. Sadly, I'm allergic to pineapple (solve that, scientists!), so I'd love it if you ate it for me once it arrives over here.
How excited are you for the pink pineapple? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.