I’m Dreaming of This Pink, Fleshy Pineapple

December 16, 2016

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, Time estimated 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.

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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.


N December 31, 2016
How about eating tomatoes for lycopene and leaving the pineapple alone?
Used to admire Food52 for food presentation and recipes. Now? Am wondering if its propaganda modified.
Sam1148 December 18, 2016
These should come with a warning for people with Tomato allergies. Something you don't expect to find in a pineapple.....Lycopene can cause problem for people with tomato allergies.
E December 17, 2016
Lol yikes people. This article was not a shill - it was a mostly humor piece that included some admittedly revolutionary food news. You don't have to like what the food news is to admit it is still relevant to this site. YOU DO YOU, MAYUKH! I thought this was well written, and really interesting! I wouldn't have known about it if this piece wasn't written. Will I be eating that pineapple, though? Prob not! :D
Fresh T. December 17, 2016
Wow. A shill for Del Monte and Big Ag. I can't believe this article is on Food 52. Food 52 had higher standards, I don't know what happened to them.
Pamela O. December 16, 2016
Really???? If you think that this is ok, then I am following the wrong site and will miss you, but not much. We are destroying our next generations Genetically modifying their foods. Nope, just will not support someone who supports the GMO folks.
Allison K. December 16, 2016
Then there is a whole lot of foods you shouldn't be eating, Pamela Otts, including potatoes, corn, wheat, apples, tomatoes, radishes, squash.... There is NOTHING inherently evil in genetic modification (hybridization is a prime example)--it would do you well to learn some actual science.
Votingwithmydollar December 16, 2016
Yep, we definitely avoid GMO, which is nothing like hybridizing. Hybrids simply are bred within a food type, like tomatoes, while GMO introduces completely different organisms. The purpose is generally twofold: the food can resist chemical damage from herbicides, fungicides, etc., some of them even containing said chemicals (yum, let me have another shot of that glyphosate!) and, of course, the developer can patent their product so if it vlows over another crop of, say, pineapples, they can sue the adjacent farmer for "stealing" their patent. Horsefeathers. There's more, but a simple google of GMO problems would fill a day of reading. What was added to this pink pineapple to produce the color and the lycopine?
Votingwithmydollar December 16, 2016
Spot on Pamela!
E December 17, 2016
It's fine to be against GMO's if that is your stance but please at least know the research before touting fake information like how it is destroying our next gens, just like what Allison Koster wrote. All the information in the extensive, long piece article I am linking has been cited to their specific scientific studies.
E December 17, 2016
AGREED! Just posted an extensive article about how GMO's are safe, but how the case against them is fraught with lies, junk science, and fear mongering hence this anti-GMO movement. GMO's are (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you ask) going to be the future of food on this planet, given the irreparable state of a lot of our abused lands making it hard to grow foods without GMO's.
Votingwithmydollar December 17, 2016
Read independent studies, not industry sponsored, and the case is strong against them. We avoid them mainly because they are generally heavily sprayed with chemicals that we just don't want to ingest. More use of GMO results in more use of things like glyphosates because those clever weeds are quickly developing resistance of their own. The more we spray, the more we harm the already abused land. Vicious circle that needs to be broken.
Pamela O. December 18, 2016
Why would you assume that I have not done my due diligence in the GMO debate? You assume to much. I have and find that altering the genetic makeup of any food alters our genetic makeup, We are what we eat. Yes, our children and grandchildren will be the ones who ultimately pay the price for our messing with nature. I dare you to go buy some GMO seeds, plant them, harvest them and replant them, then talk to me about someone's sponsored "research" on GMO's. That is all you will have to do to see that you have and are being fed a bunch of false information. We might could combat the tumors that grow because of it but we can not combat the infertility it causes, both in the plant world but also in the human world. The third generation down is basically infertile, both plants and animals fail to reproduce . It is not my job to post the research go find it yourself. Being both a farmer and the wife of a OB/GYN doctor's wife this is one of the scariest developments that us humans have bought into and it will destroy our food supply ( who ever controls the food production, controls the world) but your grandchildren won't have grandchildren.. It is not nor will ever be good for the earth. Just because you read an article sponsored by a bought and paid for schill of the GMO dictators does not mean that it is correct , just the opposite,. Again, I encourage you to go buy some corn or wheat or any other GMO altered seed and begin your own research. That is all it will take for you to see just how bad this is.

Allison K. December 18, 2016
Pamela Otts: I grew up on a farm (grain + livestock) and am trained as a chemist, having now worked in the field for 30 years so I know what I'm talking about. However, you refuse to listen to fact and continue to argue with the tired brainwashing "all GMOs are evil" mantra, so I'm just going to say "buh-BYE" and wish you the best.