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Pineapple by-products

Description and recommendations

Common names

Pineapple, ananas, ananas, abacaxi, ananás, abacaxí do mato, ananás selvagem, gravatá, ananá, piña, piña de América, piña tropical

Product names: pineapple cannery by-products, pineapple by-products, pineapple bran, pineapple pulp, pineapple wastes, pineapple waste, pineapple crush waste


Ananas ananas (L.) Voss, Ananas duckei hort., nom. inval., Ananas sativus Schult. & Schult. f., Ananas sativus var. duckei Camargo, nom. nud., Bromelia ananas L., Bromelia comosa L.


With a world production of more than 18 millions tons in 2009, pineapple ranks 12th among fruits crop worldwide (FAO, 2011). About 70 % of the pineapple produced in the world is consumed as a fresh fruit in the country of origin (Loeillet, 1997). The remaining 30 % is exported or transformed into canned slices, chunks, crush (solid pack) and juice. The post-harvest processing of pineapple fruits yields skins (outer peels), crowns, bud ends, cores, waste from fresh trimmings and the pomace of the fruit from which the juice has been extracted. Leaves and other non-fruit parts can be added to the wastes (Sruamsiri, 2007; Hepton et al., 2003; Devendra, 1985). These by-products account for approximatively 30-35 % of the fresh fruit weight. They can be used as soil amendment or as feedstuffs for all classes of livestock (Hepton et al., 2003). Like other fresh fruit by-products, fresh pineapple cannery waste are rich in water (about 90 %) and soluble carbohydrates and decay very quickly. They must be consumed as soon as possible, but canneries are often not located in areas of animal production and transportation of such bulky products is expensive and may require daily visits to the cannery (Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan et al., 2009; O'Donovan, 1978). For those reasons, fresh pineapple waste is often preserved by drying or ensiling.

Pineapple wastes can include variable proportions of cannery by-products and plant residues and are therefore quite diverse. The variety of the fruit, its ripeness and the cannery technology employed also influence the nature and value of these products (Müller, 1978). One particular product is the pineapple bran, which is the solid residue of the pressure of macerated skins and crowns. The wet bran can be fed fresh to animals, ensiled for longer storage or dried until it contains less than 12 % moisture. The liquid fraction (or mill juice) obtained by pressure is the pineapple syrup (Hepton et al., 2003; Göhl, 1982).


Pineapple is cultivated in many warm countries. The most important producers of canned pineapples are Asian countries including Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. In Africa, Kenya is also an important producer (Rohrbach et al., 2003).

Pineapple wastes are available year-round (Müller, 1978) or seasonally (Sruamsiri, 2007). Because the fresh wastes are bulky, the transportation costs are high and the wastes must be used in the vicinity of the canneries (O'Donovan, 1978). Dried and ensiled pineapple wastes are easier to handle and to store. However, unlike dried citrus pulp, dried pineapple waste is not a worldwide feed commodity and its use remains local.



Wet pineapple bran can sun-dried for 3 days or artificially dried for 1 day (after a preliminary pressure) (Göhl, 1982). Partial or complete sun-drying is possible, but hazardous in the rainy season (O'Donovan, 1978).


Pineapple waste and bran are difficult to ensile due to their acidity and high moisture content. Pineapple waste can be mixed with hay, wilted grass or rice straw (Choopheng et al., 2005; Jitramano et al., 2005). A source of starch such as molasses, maize or sweet potatoes can be added to pineapple bran to improve the fermentation process (Göhl, 1982; O'Donovan, 1978). In one experiment, ensiled pineapple wastes (with or without rice straw) had a dry matter content lower than than the optimal range of good silages but the final product was satisfying. This can be explained by the high carbohydrate content of pineapple wastes, and particularly by the fructose which is converted into lactic acid by lactic bacteria (Sruamsiri et al., 2007).

Environmental impact

Proper solid-waste disposal is a serious problem in pineapple-processing operations (Hepton et al., 2003) and using those by-products as feed can help to alleviate the environemental impact of pineapple processing. In Malaysia, for instance, pineapple canneries used to dump the wastes into nearby rivers causing pollution. Today, the recycling of those wastes into animal feeds for cattle, whose manure is used as organic fertilizer for crop production is an example of crops-livestock integration that is able to sustain economical competitiveness without damaging the environment (Jiang, 2001).

Potential constraints

Pesticides residues

Pineapple cultivation requires the use of pesticides and it is important to assess the levels of their residues in feeds (Hepton et al., 2003). In Brazil, the levels in pineapple bran of the usual pesticides benomyl, methyl parathion, diuron and vamidothion were found to be below the limits established for feedstuffs in that country (Cabrera et al., 2000).

Nutritional attributes

The composition and nutritive value of pineapple wastes varies with the ratios of by-products they include, the variety of the fruit, its ripeness and the cannery technology employed. The amount of nutrients (and particularly sugars) in the wastes decreases when the efficiency of the juice extraction increases (Müller, 1978). Raw pineapple wastes are relatively poor in protein (4-8 % DM) and high in crude fibre (16-25 % DM) and NDF (60-72 % DM) (Müller, 1978; Feedipedia, 2011; Correia et al., 2006; Rogerio et al., 2007; Pereira et al., 2009). It contains large amounts of soluble sugars (40-75 % DM : about 70 % sucrose, 20 % glucose and 10 % fructose) as well as pectins (Müller, 1978). Due to this high variability, pineapple wastes have been described as equivalent to cereal grains for ruminants (Müller, 1978) or as a low-nutrient feed (Hepton et al., 2003). It is poor in minerals (Müller, 1978). In any case, the high amount of fibre limits makes pineapple wastes more suitable to ruminants than to pigs and poultry. The bulkiness of the fresh products limits intake (O'Donovan, 1978).

Please note that studies about the feed value of pineapple wastes rarely provide precise descriptions of these products. Information about the respective amounts of skins, leaves, cores, fruit flesh etc. is usually absent so it is near impossible to properly categorise these products from a nutritional point of view.

Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value


Pineapple by-products have been considerered for a long time an excellent feed for ruminants. Particularly, there is a large amount of early research and experience supporting the use of pineapple wastes in beef cattle and dairy cattle (Müller, 1978). They can replace successfully a large part of (or even all) the diet roughages (Müller, 1978) or part of the diet cereals in the case of meat animals (Geoffroy, 1985). Pineapple juice by-products (without the crown) were found to have a higher energy value than maize silage and were able to partly replace energy concentrates in diets for ruminants (Azevêdo et al., 2011).

However, because pineapple wastes contain low amounts of protein and minerals, supplementation is required when the diet is based on a large amounts of those products in order to prevent detrimental effects on productivity and health (Müller, 1978).


Pineapple wastes are very palatable and only require a few days of adaptation (Müller, 1978). Fermented pineapple waste is less acidic than fresh waste and animals prefer it to fresh waste (Sruamsiri, 2007).

Nutritional values

Pineapple wastes are very digestible for ruminants, with reported OM digestibility values in the 73-75 range in cattle, sheep and goats (Müller, 1978).

Dairy cattle

Early research suggests that pineapple waste could replace 30% to 90 % of the diet forages of dairy cows (Müller, 1978) but there have been few recent publications about the use of pineapple by-products in dairy cattle. Pineapple waste mixed with rice straw could replace up to 50% of roughage in the total mixed ration for dairy cattle without decreasing milk production (Sruamsiri, 2007). Using pineapple wastes in total mixed rations for dairy cows was more economically beneficial (higher milk yield and lower feed cost) than feeding pineapple wastes ad libitum with a concentrate supplement (Chinvaroj et al., 2001).

Beef cattle

Fresh pineapple wastes have been used extensively and successfully to feed beef cattle in the Philippines, where they could replace up to 85 % of the diet forage (Müller, 1978). Most trials have focused on pineapple waste silage. The value of feeding both pineapple canning by-products and pineapple crop residues (leaves and stems) was demonstrated in the Philippines, where large scale feeding trials on cattle given pineapple pulp and pineapple leaf silage together with a 35% protein concentrate at 0.6% of body weight gave daily live weight gains of between 0.38 - 0.48 kg/d (Albarece, 1979, cited by Devendra, 1985). In the French West Indies, feeding ensiled pineapple waste (70 % of the diet DM) with a protein supplement and 2.5 kg fresh forage resulted to 250-300 kg steers resulted in high daily weight gains (1 kg/day) and allowed a remarkable decrease in feeding costs (Geoffroy et al., 1984). In Brazil, pineapple waste silage could replace up to 60 % of maize silage with no significant detrimental effect on final live weight and average daily gains, though DM, OM and ME intake decreased (Prado et al., 2003). In Vietnam, supplementation of the native grass Sacciolepsis interrupta with ensiled pineapple waste resulted in higher average daily gain (0.32 vs 0.27 kg/d). Adding rice polishings to the ensiled pineapple waste did not add nutritional benefits (Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan et al., 2009). Other ensiled mixtures have been proposed. In Malaysia, a silage made of 80% pineapple wastes and 10% poultry litter with molasses and additives was found to be economically viable, provided that a good nutrient balance is respected (Müller, 1980).


In lambs, pressed (down to 24-25 % DM) and ensiled pineapple waste associated to fresh forage and soybean meal gave similar growth (180 g/day) than the control diet (fresh forage and compound feed). It was estimated that the product had a value similar to that of pressed beet pulp (Geoffroy et al., 1984).

Several Brazilian studies have concluded positively on the potential benefits of dried pineapple waste. In adult sheep , the inclusion of up to 14 % of dehydrated pineapple waste in Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) silage did not modify nutrient digestibility but linearly increases DM matter intake (Ferreira et al., 2009). Dried pineaple could be included at up to 27 % in the diet (cottonseed meal and maize grain), replacing fresh Napier grass: the highest DM intake and ME intake were observed at 11 % and the authors recommended 16 % as an optimal inclusion rate (Rogerio et al., 2007).


In Brazil, dehydrated pineapple by-products could replace 100% Cynodon dactylon hay in growing female goats. It maintained or increased nutrient digestibilities and resulted in satisfying body weight (Correia et al., 2006; Costa et al., 2007). In French Polynesia, ensiled pineapple by-products were found to be an interesting resource for goats during the shortage period in the dry season, and it was recommended to associate it with copra meal in the diet (at a level of 25 % diet DM) (Llorca Lionet et al., 2000). In Nigeria, a silage made of pineapple pulp, young lima bean vines (Phasolus lunatus) and fresh Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) increased dietary protein content, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen absorption and retention, and also reduced weight loss of goats during the dry season (Ajayi, 2011). In a comparison of such silages made from the vines of either lima bean, cajan pea (Cajanus cajan) or African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa), the silage based on lima bean vines, pineapple pulp and Napier grass produced the optimal growth rate and weight gain in the goats (Ajayi et al., 2012).


In 2011, research on the use of pineapple wastes for pigs was still limited to a series of 11 trials carried out in the 1930-1940s in Hawaii. Dried pineapple bran does not seem very palatable to pigs, who only select it at 5-9 % of the ration when offered ad libitum. The high crude fibre content (20 %) limits its use in pigs. Particularly, pineapple bran is not well adapted to pigs under 27 kg except in small quantities. However, it produced adequate results with older pigs weighing over 57 kg at inclusion rates as high as 50 %. At higher levels the rate of weight gain decreases and feed conversion is depressed. Protein supplementation is required. Grinding did not seem to improve daily gain or feed efficiency (Henke, 1949; Gantt, 1938; Göhl, 1982).


Pineapple bran is not beneficial to poultry. It was found to adversely affect growth and feed conversion in chicks even at low levels (Ross, 1966 cited by Devendra, 1988). Another experiment found that 15 % (diet DM) of pineapple bran in chick diets depressed feed conversion ration and 20 % decreased weight. A ME value of 7.8 MJ/kg DM was proposed (Hutagalung et al., 1973)


In tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), pineapple wastes could replace up to 75 % maize grain in the diet. 50-75 % inclusion rates gave the highest growth performances but total substitution was detrimental to growth (Akegbejo-Samsons et al., 2006).

In rohu (Labeo rohita) fingerlings, dehydrated fruit processing wastes coud be safely used at a level of 25% in the diet. Pineapple wastes had a significantly higher growth promoting effect in fingerlings compare to sweet lime and orange wastes (Abani Deka et al., 2003).


Heuzé V., Tran G., Giger-Reverdin S., 2013. Pineapple by-products. A programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. Last updated on February 26, 2013, 16:46


Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 88.6 1.7 87.6 90.6 3
Crude protein % DM 4.5 1.2 3.5 5.8 3
Crude fibre % DM 17.8 2.8 16.1 21.1 3
NDF % DM 41.8 1
ADF % DM 20.9 1
Lignin % DM 3.9 1
Ether extract % DM 1.2 0.6 0.5 1.7 3
Ash % DM 8.1 5.2 5.1 14.1 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.0 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 4.9 4.2 2.1 9.8 3
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.3 0.2 1.1 1.4 3
Potassium g/kg DM 21.3 17.6 24.9 2
Sodium g/kg DM 0.2 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.2 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Arginine % protein 1.8 1
Cystine % protein 0.3 1
Histidine % protein 1.0 1
Isoleucine % protein 3.5 1
Leucine % protein 5.5 1
Lysine % protein 2.0 1
Methionine % protein 0.5 1
Phenylalanine % protein 8.5 1
Threonine % protein 3.3 1
Tryptophan % protein 3.0 1
Tyrosine % protein 6.8 1
Valine % protein 4.3 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
ME ruminants (FAO, 1982) MJ/kg DM 10.8 1
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 0.0 1
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 62.2 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 10.6 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


CIRAD, 1991; Holm, 1971; Palafox et al., 1961; Rogerson, 1956

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:47



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