Pink Pineapple: Everything You Need to Know

Pink pineapples have been in the news lately. You can see photos here and here. We thought it would be a good time to revisit this interesting topic.

A new pink pineapple, developed through genetic engineering, has been approved by the FDA.

The variety has pink flesh instead of yellow and the developers say it tastes sweeter.

The pink pineapple, made by Del Monte Fresh Produce, simply has some genes toned down to keep the flesh of the fruit pinker and sweeter, the FDA said in its announcement. “(Del Monte) submitted information to the agency to demonstrate that the pink flesh pineapple is as safe and nutritious as its conventional counterparts.”

The new pineapple will produce lower levels of the enzymes that occur in pineapple that convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene, said the FDA. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed. Find out more facts about pineapple.

The company will label the product “extra sweet pink flesh pineapple.” It is known as Rosé and will be grown in Costa Rica.

Every genetically-engineered crop goes through extensive testing to ensure it is safe and has to be approved by the FDA, USDA and EPA before they can enter the food supply. The new pineapple joins a growing list of precedent-setting GMO foods. Genetically-engineered salmon received FDA approval last year. GMO apples and potatoes have also been deemed safe for human consumption in recent years.

With the passing of standardized food labeling regulations last summer, these products will need to be labeled as a genetically modified food item at the retail level. USDA is working toward determining how these labels will come to be over the next few years.

The pineapple received FDA approval in December. It is not known when the food will be available for purchase.

This post was originally published Jan. 24, 2017.