Can you freeze a whole pineapple?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze a whole pineapple?” and discuss how to freeze pineapple?

Can you freeze a whole pineapple?

Yes, you can freeze a whole pineapple. Sweet Gold pineapples, which are extremely juicy and sweet, are a wonderful choice for freezing. Pineapple chunks (or any desired form) must be peeled and chopped into airtight containers or freezer bags before they can be frozen. If you believe you can chop a pineapple without peeling it, you are wrong. 

Twelve countries absorb 90% of the world’s demand for fresh pineapple. The US leads the demand, while France, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Canada, Spain, England, Korea, Netherlands and Singapore share the rest of the supply. The most planted variety is smooth cayenne accounting for 80% of the total pineapple produced, though currently there are efforts to move to MD2 variety due to its superior nutrition qualities (1).

A Pineapple Freeze-Dried: What’s the Process?

No, I don’t think it’s a smart idea to freeze a whole pineapple. A lot of time and freezer space would be required to thaw this. In addition, you’d still have to chop it up after thawing it out. 

However, it is possible. The resulting defrosted fruit will have different taste and texture compared to the fresh fruit and the most important change is in the texture. During freezing, the water in the samples partially formed ice crystals which negatively damaged the cellular integrity of the cellular compartments reducing the turgor pressure and firmness values of the samples. For pineapple, the loss of firmness is about 50%. The ice crystals which form during the freezing process are known to damage fruit cells. Then during the thawing process, liquid can leak from the interior to the exterior of the cells resulting in drip loss. Pineapple had a drip loss of 38% in a study (2).

You can defrost it even if you’re feeling lazy, since you know there’s nothing more you need to do about it. We’re going to freeze pineapple chunks, as you undoubtedly predicted. You may do it this way:

  • Remove the pineapple’s peel and core. Consider purchasing a pineapple corer if you do this often.
  • Cut the fruit into chunks or slices. Decide on the size and form of your fruits based on their intended usage after they’ve been defrosted. You may chop the defrosted pineapple into tiny pieces if you don’t have a specific use for it at the moment. They may be used in a variety of ways and defrost quickly.
  • For a few minutes, drain the fruit in a sieve or strainer. There will be less frost if you remove part of the liquid off the surface. This is a good idea if you’re going to use the pineapple frozen in a fruit salad. Before adding the pineapple, drain the water and thaw the fruit.
  • Use a silicone mat to line a baking sheet and spread the pieces out to bake. The mat’s purpose is to make it easier to remove the cookies from the baking pan. It’s also possible to use wax or parchment paper in its place. Using parchment paper, here’s what it looks like
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave it there until the fruit has frozen solidly. This is known as “flash-freezing,” as it separates the ice crystals into smaller, more manageable pieces. Using this method, you may thaw only a few items at a time. The cookie sheet frequently spends the night in the freezer with me.
  • After removing the pieces from the baking sheet, place them in a freezer bag or container. For future reference, add a label with a name and date.

In order to better preserve the nutritional properties of pineapple while preventing ist browning during freezing/ thawing, scientists recommend the application of pretreatments, such as sugar blanching and the addition of ascorbic acid. Cut fruits tend to become brown during frozen storage. Therefore, it is important to monitor the color profile of the frozen fruits. Ascorbic acid was found to prevent browning in fresh cut pineapple slices without affecting its sensory properties. 

Calcium chloride may be used to preserve the texture. A study showed that the calcium chloride pretreatment prior to freezing was found more effective than sugar blanching in minimizing drip losses and maintaining texture of frozen and thawed pineapple slices. Further, calcium chloride pretreatment was found to have a more profound effect on sensory acceptability as compared to sugar and ascorbic acid pretreatments. 

Blanching may be done in sugar solutions of concentrations 10–20% sucrose at 95°C for 2 min followed by additive soak treatment comprising a solution of CaCl2 (; 1000–2000 ppm) and ascorbic acid (; 200–400 ppm) for 10 min at 40°C. The pretreated slices may be packed in polyethylene pouches and blast frozen for 2 h or more, depending on the temperature of the freezer (the lowest temperature, the better) (3).

What Is the Best Way to Defrost Pineapple?

Depending on your preferences, you may thaw the pineapple in a variety of ways. The following are some of the most common choices:

  • Refrigerate to thaw. The traditional method of defrosting food is to put it in the fridge. Get an airtight container (like a freezer bag) and place the pieces or slices you need in the fridge. Prepare the fruit the night before so that it’s ready to eat in the morning.
  • Thaw in ice water. If you don’t have a lot of time, you may just put the pieces in a freezer bag and put them in a pot of cold water. Depending on the size and number of pieces, defrosting might take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Using a freezer bag instead of a container is considerably more efficient with this procedure. Keep an eye on the luggage, as well.
  • Make sure it’s completely frozen before you put it in. Defrosting food in many circumstances is unnecessary and maybe done directly from the freezer. In the next part, we’ll show you some instances.

To What Purpose Is Frozen Pineapple Put?

There are a lot of pineapple slices in your freezer that you have no clue what to do with. We’ll take care of you. Frozen or defrosted pineapple may be used in a variety of ways.

  • Smoothie time! Ice cubes and pineapple are both common smoothie ingredients (HC). That means you may use it in place of the ice cubes in your smoothie and it should still come out alright.
  • Infuse water with pineapple for a refreshing drink. Fill a glass with water and add a piece or two. To release some of the fluids into the water, pinch the pieces with a fork. Pineapple taste will be present in the beverage. It won’t taste like pineapple juice at all..
  • Cooked dishes may benefit from this ingredient. Cooked pineapple recipes may be found all over the internet. For example, have a look at this Hawaiian BBQ chicken in the slow cooker. You may not even have to thaw the fruit in certain circumstances.
  • Make a fruit salad out of it, or eat it as is. Aside from the obvious drawbacks of frozen and thawed pineapple (as I’ve previously noted), the flavor and texture are both fine. Your favorite fruit salad should be tested before being served to visitors.

To learn more about freezing a whole pineapple click here

Other FAQs about Pineapples that you may be interested in.

How long is pineapple good for in the fridge?

Will a pineapple ripen after being picked?

How to juice pineapple?

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze a whole pineapple?” and we discussed how to freeze pineapple?

Reference

  1. Hossain, M. F. World pineapple production: An overview. Afr J Food Agric Nutr Develop, 2016, 16, 11443-11456.
  2. Sirijariyawat, Arpassorn, and Sanguansri Charoenrein. Freezing characteristics and texture variation after freezing and thawing of four fruit types. Songklanakarin J Sci Technol, 2012, 34.  
  3. Chauhan, O. P., et al. Modeling of pre-treatment protocols for frozen pineapple slices. LWT-Food Sci Technol, 2009, 42, 1283-1288.