Effect of seedling size and flowering time on fruit quality, secondary metabolite production and bioactivity of pineapple [Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. var. ‘Yankee’] fruits


  • Jamilah Syafawati Yaacob University of Malaya
  • Siti Zubaidah Husin Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Mawiyah Mahmud Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Sujatha Ramasamy Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Rashidi Othman International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART), Herbarium Unit, Department of Landscape Architecture, Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environment Design, International Islamic University Malaysia, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




antioxidant, bioactivity, physical attributes, physicochemical analysis, secondary metabolites


Recently, antioxidants derived from natural sources have gained wide interest worldwide due to their high medicinal values and industrial applications. Various factors have been reported to affect the antioxidant content in plants. This study aimed to analyze the effect of seedling size and flowering time on quality attributes and bioactivity of pineapple fruits, Ananas comosus L. var. Yankee. Free radical scavenging activities of the fruits produced from seedlings of different sizes (grades A, B and C), produced either through natural flowering or artificially induced flowering were investigated using DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays. The methanolic extract of fruits from grade A seedlings showed the lowest IC50 value of ABTS radical and the highest FRAP value, indicating good scavenging activity. However, DPPH assays showed that fruits from grade C seedlings (either naturally produced or artificially induced) exhibited the highest scavenging activity against DPPH, compared to fruits from other seedling grades. Moreover, fruits from grade B seedlings produced from natural flowering showed significantly better antioxidant potential than fruits that were artificially induced. Other quality attributes such as fruit weight and length, total titratable acidity (TTA), amount of total soluble solid (TSS) and pH were also observed to be not significantly different among fruits produced from different seedling sizes, and their phytochemical constituents were also similar. These results suggested that A. comosus L. var. Yankee fruits contain various pharmacologically important phytoconstituents which can be further exploited for various uses.


Adebisi, M., Kehinde, T., Ajala, M., Olowu, E. and Rasaki, S. (2011). Assessment of seed quality and potential longevity in elite tropical soybean (Glycine Max L.) Merrill grown in Southwestern Nigeria. Nigeria Agricultural Journal, Vol. 42 pp. 94-103.

Appiah, F., Kumah, P. and Oppong, D. (2012). Predicting the consumer acceptability of dried MD2 and smooth Cayenne Pineapple Pulps from chemical composition. Journal of Food Research, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 210.

Benzie, I. F. F. and Strain, J. J. (1996). The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power”: The FRAP assay. Analytical Biochemistry. Vol. 239 No. 1, pp. 70-6.

Carlier, J. D., d’Eeckenbrugge, G. C. and Leitão, J. M. (2007). Pineapple. In Kole, C. (Ed.) Fruits and Nuts. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 331-42.

Carr, M. K. V. (2014), Advances in Irrigation Agronomy: Fruit Crops, England: Cambridge University Press.

Charoensiri, R., Kongkachuichai, R., Suknicom, S. and Sungpuag, P. (2009), Beta-carotene, lycopene, and alpha-tocopherol contents of selected Thai fruits. Food Chemistry, Vol. 113 No. 1, pp. 202-207.

Charrier, A. (2001), Tropical Plant Breeding, CIRAD. United Kingdom: Science Publishers Inch.

Chen, L., Hwang, J.-E., Choi, B., Gu, K. M., Park, Y. and Kang, Y.-H. (2014). Antioxidant capacities and cytostatic effect of Korean red pepper (Capsicum annuum L): a screening and in vitro study. Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry, Vol. 57 No. 1, pp. 43-52.

Chobotova, K., Vernallis, A. B. and Majid, F. A. A. (2010). Bromelain’s activity and potential as an anti-cancer agent: current evidence and perspectives. Cancer Letters, Vol. 290 No. 2, pp. 148-56.

Cunha, G. A. P. d. (2005). Applied aspects of pineapple flowering. Bragantia, Vol. 64 No. 4, pp. 499-516.

Cunha, G. A. P. d., Reinhardt, D. and Caldas, R. (1993), Effect of planting season, moult size and plant age on floral induction on the yield of 'Perla' pineapple in Bahia, EMBRAPA/CNPMF.

Cushman, J. C. (2005). Crassulacean acid metabolism: recent advances and future opportunities. Functional Plant Biology, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 375-80.

d’Eeckenbrugge, G. C., Sanewski, G. M., Smith, M. K., Duval, M.-F. and Leal, F. (2011). Ananas. In Kole, C. (Ed.) Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources: Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 21-41.

Dadzie, B. K. and Orchard, J. E. (1997). Routine post-harvest screening of banana/plantain hybrids: criteria and methods. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI).

de Torres, C., Díaz-Maroto, M.C., Hermosín-Gutiérrez, I. and Pérez-Coello, M.S. (2010). Effect of freeze-drying and oven-drying on volatiles and phenolics composition of grape skin. Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 660 No. 1–2, pp. 177-82.

Ding, P. and Syazwani, S. (2015). Physicochemical quality, antioxidant compounds and activity of MD-2 pineapple fruit at five ripening stages. International Food Research Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 549-555.

Dorais, M., Ehret, D. L. and Papadopoulos, A. P. (2008). Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) health components: from the seed to the consumer. Phytochemistry Reviews, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 231-50.

Enayat Gholizadeh, M., Bakhshandeh, A., Shoar, M. D., Ghaineh, M., Saeid, K. A. and Sharafizadeh, M. (2014). Effect of source and seed size on yield component of corn S. C704 in Khuzestan. African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 11 No. 12, pp. 2938-44.

Farahani, F. (2016). Growth, flowering and fruiting in vitro pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) in greenhouse conditions. African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 12 No. 15, pp. 1774-1781.

Fassinou Hotegni, V. N., Lommen, W. J. M., Agbossou, E. K. and Struik, P. C. (2015). Influence of weight and type of planting material on fruit quality and its heterogeneity in pineapple [Ananas comosus (L.) Merrill]. Frontiers in Plant Science, Vol. 5, Article 798.

Gardner, P. T., White, T. A., McPhail, D. B. and Duthie, G. G. (2000). The relative contributions of vitamin C, carotenoids and phenolics to the antioxidant potential of fruit juices. Food Chemistry, Vol. 68 No. 4, pp. 471-474.

Gülçin, İ., Topal, F., Çakmakçı, R., Bilsel, M., Gören, A.C. and Erdogan, U. (2011). Pomological features, nutritional quality, polyphenol content analysis, and antioxidant properties of domesticated and 3 wild ecotype forms of raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.). Journal of Food Science, Vol. 76 No. 4, pp. C585-C93.

Hebbar, H. U., Sumana, B. and Raghavarao, K. (2008). Use of reverse micellar systems for the extraction and purification of bromelain from pineapple wastes. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 99 No. 11, pp. 4896-4902.

Hepton, A. (2003). Cultural system. In Bartholomew, D. P., Paull, R. E. and Rohrbach, K. G. (Eds.), The Pineapple: Botany, Production, and Uses. New York: CAB International, pp. 109-42.

Hossain, M.A. and Rahman, S.M.M. (2011), "Total phenolics, flavonoids and antioxidant activity of tropical fruit pineapple", Food Research International, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 672-6.

Hotegni, V. N. F., Lommen, W. J., Agbossou, E. K. and Struik, P. C. (2015). Trade-Offs of Flowering and Maturity Synchronisation for Pineapple Quality, PloS one, Vol. 10 No. 11, p. e0143290.

Janick, J. and Paull, R. E. (2008), The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. North American Office: CABI

Kalaiselvi, M., Ravikumar, G., Gomathi, D. and Uma, C. (2012). In vitro free radical scavenging activity of Ananus comosus (l.) Merrill peel. International Journal of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 604-9.

Kaur, T., Kaur, A. and Grewal, R. K. (2015). Kinetics studies with fruit bromelain (Ananas comosus) in the presence of cysteine and divalent ions. Journal of Food Science and Technology, Vol. 52 No. 9, pp. 5954-60.

Kaydan, D. and Yagmur, M. (2008). Germination, seedling growth and relative water content of shoot in different seed sizes of triticale under osmotic stress of water and NaCl. African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 7 No. 16, p. 2862 - 2868.

Koh, J., Kang, S.-M., Kim, S.-J., Cha, M.-K. and Kwon, Y.-J. (2006). Effect of pineapple protease on the characteristics of protein fibers. Fibers and Polymers, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 180-185.

Kong, K. W., Mat-Junit, S., Aminudin, N., Ismail, A. and Abdul-Aziz, A. (2012). Antioxidant activities and polyphenolics from the shoots of Barringtonia racemosa (L.) Spreng in a polar to apolar medium system. Food Chemistry, Vol. 134 No. 1, pp. 324-332.

Kongsuwan, A., Suthiluk, P., Theppakorn, T., Srilaong, V. and Setha, S. (2009). Bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacities of phulae and nanglae pineapple. Asian Journal of Food & Agro-Industry, No. S44-S50.

Lu, X.-H., Sun, D.-Q., Wu, Q.-S., Liu, S.-H. and Sun, G.-M. (2014). Physico-chemical properties, antioxidant activity and mineral contents of pineapple genotypes grown in China. Molecules, Vol. 19 No. 6, pp. 8518-8532.

Mekhilef, S., Safari, A., Mustaffa, W. E. S., Saidur, R., Omar, R. and Younis, M. A. A. (2012). Solar energy in Malaysia: Current state and prospects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 386-396.

Meng, J.-F., Fang, Y.-L., Qin, M.-Y., Zhuang, X.-F. and Zhang, Z.-W. (2012). Varietal differences among the phenolic profiles and antioxidant properties of four cultivars of spine grape (Vitis davidii Foex) in Chongyi County (China). Food Chemistry, Vol. 134 No. 4, pp. 2049-2056.

MPIB, M.P.I.B. (2016), "Manual Pengurusan Tanaman Nanas", p. 2. Retrieved from http://www.mpib.gov.my/

Müller, L., Gnoyke, S., Popken, A. M. and Böhm, V. (2010). Antioxidant capacity and related parameters of different fruit formulations. LWT - Food Science and Technology, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 992-999.

Ogata, T., Yamanaka, S., Shoda, M., Urasaki, N. and Yamamoto, T. (2016). Current status of tropical fruit breeding and genetics for three tropical fruit species cultivated in Japan: pineapple, mango, and papaya. Breeding Science, Vol. 66 No. 1, pp. 69-81.

Reinhardt, D. H., Souza, A. P. M., Caldas, R. C., Alcântara, J. d. P. and Almeida, A. A. d. (2003). Management of slips and its effect on growth and production of 'Pérola' pineapple plants. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura, Vol. 25 pp. 248-252.

Rice-Evans, C.A. and Packer, L. (2003), Flavonoids in Health and Disease, Second Edition. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

Rosenberg, L., Lapid, O., Bogdanov-Berezovsky, A., Glesinger, R., Krieger, Y., Silberstein, E., Sagi, A., Judkins, K. and Singer, A. J. (2004). Safety and efficacy of a proteolytic enzyme for enzymatic burn debridement: a preliminary report. Burns, Vol. 30 No. 8, pp. 843-850.

Shirin, M., Enayatgholizadeh, M., Siadat, E. and Fathi, G. (2008). Comparison of suitable seed vigour of hybrid Zea Maize (CV. SC. 704) in the field condition of Ahvaz. 10th congeres of Agronomy Plant breeding. Karaj, Vol. 330, pp. 2938-2944.

Shofian, N. M., Hamid, A. A., Osman, A., Saari, N., Anwar, F., Dek, M. S. P. and Hairuddin, M. R. (2011). Effect of freeze-drying on the antioxidant compounds and antioxidant activity of selected tropical fruits. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 12 No. 7, pp. 4678-4692.

Siddiq, M., Ahmed, J., Lobo, M. G. and Ozadali, F. (2012). Tropical and Subtropical Fruits: Postharvest Physiology, Processing and Packaging. USA: John Wiley & Sons.

Solihah, M. A., Rosli, W. W. I. and Nurhanan, A. R. (2012). Phytochemicals screening and total phenolic content of Malaysian Zea mays hair extracts. International Food Research Journal, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 1533-1538.

Sudjarwo, S. A. (2005). Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect of bromelain in mice and rats. Universa Medicina, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 155-160.

Sulaiman, S. F. and Ooi, K. L. (2012). Polyphenolic and vitamin C contents and antioxidant activities of aqueous extracts from mature-green and ripe fruit fleshes of Mangifera sp. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 60 No. 47, pp. 11832-11838.

Tiwari, B. K., Brunton, N. P. and Brennan, C. (2013). Handbook of Plant Food Phytochemicals: Sources, Stability and Extraction. USA: John Wiley & Sons.

Van de Poel, B., Ceusters, J. and De Proft, M. P. (2009). Determination of pineapple (Ananas comosus, MD-2 hybrid cultivar) plant maturity, the efficiency of flowering induction agents and the use of activated carbon. Scientia Horticulturae, Vol. 120 No. 1, pp. 58-63.

Wang, R.-H., Hsu, Y.-M., Bartholomew, D. P., Maruthasalam, S. and Lin, C.-H. (2007). Delaying natural flowering in pineapple through foliar application of aviglycine, an inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis. HortScience, Vol. 42 No. 5, pp. 1188-1191.