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Pineapple

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Pineapple is known scientifically by the name of Ananas comosus. It belongs to the genus Ananas and family Bromeliaceae. Pineapple is known to be a native to South America. The pineapple is an herbaceous short-lived perennial plant which grows to 1.0 to 1.5 meters tall. The plant only produces one fruit and then dies. It can be grown as an ornamental, especially from the leafy tops.
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Botanical Names
Ananas comosus
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Ananas, Bahunetra phalam Hindi : Ananas Marathi : Ananas Gujarati : Anenaas Tamil : Annasi Telugu : Anaasa Kannada : Ananas Bengali : Anarosh Malayalam : Kaitha chakka
Chemical Constituents
Pineapple is a good source of manganese, and also contains significant amounts of vitamin C , and vitamin B1. Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein. The major elemental components present in pineapple are phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. The other elemental components are present in trace amount. It is a good source of vitamin B including pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, riboflavin. It also contains vitamin B6, copper and dietary fiber. Pineapple is a rich source of bromelain which plays an important role in treatment of many diseases (1). The pineapple plant was shown to contain four distinct cysteine proteinases. The major proteinase present in extracts of plant stem is stem bromelain, whilst fruit bromelain is the major proteinase in the fruit. Two additional cysteine proteinases are present only in the stem: these are ananain and a previously undescribed enzyme that called comosain (2).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritating to the skin as well as to the internal organs, hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Pineapple is a digestive aid and a natural anti-Inflammatory fruit. Fresh pineapples are rich in bromelain. Bromelain has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory effects, reducing swelling in inflammatory conditions such as acute sinusitis, sore throat, arthritis, and speeding recovery from injuries and surgery (3). Pineapple contains micro-nutrients that protects against cancer and this micro-nutrients also break up blood clots and is beneficial to the heart. The ripe pineapple has diuretic properties. Pineapple juices also kill intestinal worms. It also relieves intestinal disorders and soothes the bile. Pineapple juice contains chemicals that stimulates the kidneys and aids in removing toxic elements in the body. Pinapples are used to cure bronchitis and throat infections. It is efficient in the treatment of arterioscleroses and anemia. Pineapple is an excellent cerebral toner; it combats loss of memory, sadness and melancholy. Pineapple also helps to build healthy bones (4).
Health Benefits
Pineapples are rich in manganese and just one cup of pineapple provides 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. This aids the growth of bones in young people and the strengthening of bones in older people. Due to its high vitamin C content, pineapples are good for oral health as well. Vitamin C can reduce the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Vitamin C also increases the body's ability to fight invading bacteria and other toxins that contribute to gum disease. Pineapple has been shown to be important in maintaining good eye health and helping to protect against age-related eye problems. There are even some beneficial molecules hidden in the stems of pineapples. These molecules have been seen to act as a defense against certain types of cancer (5). Pineapple enzymes have been used with success to treat rheumatoid arthritis and to speed tissue repair as a result of injuries, diabetic ulcers and general surgery. Pineapple is a rich source of bromelain which reduces inflammation. Bromelain activates compounds that break down fibrin and blocks the production of kinins which both play a role in swelling. Because of these effects, it has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and to speed up recovery from injuries and surgery. Pineapple reduces blood clotting and helps to remove plaque from arterial walls (6).
Application in Cosmetics
Pineapple contains the fruit enzyme 'bromelain' which is effective in exfoliating dead cells on the surface of the skin and also hydrolyzes proteins. In cosmetics it can act as a skin conditioning and lytic agent. Pineapple adds a sharp, crisp citrus like scent that adds to its cleansing and invigorating properties. Other health benefits of pineapple is firming skin by boosting the production of collagen, sloughing off dead skin cells, evening out skin tone, and making tiny wrinkles less noticeable. Pineapple is rich in enzymes which help to remove dead cells and refresh the skin.
Research References
1. Laura P. H. , Maciej C. , Chau T. T., Paula K. G. Dietary supplementation with fresh pineapple juice decreases inflammation and colonic neoplasia in IL-10-deficient mice with colitis Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2010 16( 12): 2012–2021, 2. A D Rowan, D J Buttle, and A J Barrett The cysteine proteinases of the pineapple plant. Biochem J. 266(3): 869–875. 3. Kulpreet B., Shilpa T., Bharti P., Yogeshwer S. Pineapple bromelain induces autophagy, facilitating apoptotic response in mammary carcinoma cells BioFactors2010 36( 6):474–482, 2010 4. Chobotova K, Vernallis AB, Majid FA Bromelain's activity and potential as an anti-cancer agent: Current evidence and perspectives.. Cancer Lett. 2010, 290(2):148-56. 5. Eric R. S., Anurag S., Linda A., Guernseya, Jeff T. M., Lijun Z., Nilanjana M., and Roger S. T. Bromelain treatment reduces CD25 expression on activated CD4+ T cells in vitro Int Immunopharmacol. 2009. 9(3): 340–346. 6. Bromelain induces cardioprotection against ischemiare perfusion injury through Akt/FOXO pathway in rat myocardium Bela J., Mahesh T., Rima P., Lijun Z., Suresh V. P., Eric R. Secor Jr., Sapna S., Utpal R., Venugopal P. Menon, Hajime O., Roger S. Thrall2, and Nilanjana M. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008. 294(3): 1365–1370. 7. Mhatre M, Tilak-Jain J, De S, Devasagayam TP. Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of non-transformed and transformed pineapple: a comparative study.Food Chem Toxicol. 2009. 47(11):2696-702. Epub 2009 Jun 27. 8. Ota S. On a minor component of proteolytic enzymes contained in the pineapple fruit. J Biochem. 1966 May;59(5):463–468. [PubMed]