Is Canned Pineapple Just As Good As Fresh?

Pineapple is a popular ingredient in desserts and savory dishes. It is very popular worldwide, both fresh and canned. In this regard, many of us are curious if canned pineapples are just as good, and healthy as fresh ones.

My goal with my article is to shed some light on this subject.

Canned and fresh pineapples both contain valuable vitamins and minerals. Canned pineapple contains more sugar than fresh. 

However, it should be noted that pineapple is preserved in two ways: in a heavy syrup, which contains added sugar, and in 100% pineapple juice, without added sugar.

Another significant difference between fresh and canned pineapple is that most of the enzyme called bromelain breaks down during canning. As a result, canned pineapple can also be consumed by those who are sensitive to bromelain.

Does canned pineapple have the same enzymes as fresh?

During the canning process, enzymes break down in the pineapple due to the heat treatment. So canned pineapple no longer contains enzymes.

The enzymes in pineapple can irritate some people. In some cases, this irritation can cause a slight tingling sensation in the mouth, in other cases, it can cause bleeding or sores.

Fresh pineapple naturally contains an enzyme called bromelain, which not everyone’s body can break down properly, and may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In Asian countries, fresh pineapple slices are soaked in salt water before use, because the salt breaks down the enzymes.


Health benefits of Bromelain

Research shows that bromelain can have a beneficial effect on our health. So, fresh pineapple is a healthier option for people not sensitive to bromelain. The peoples of South and Central America recognized the healing effect of pineapple and used it in traditional medicine.

Based on research results, bromelain has many therapeutic benefits.

It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, promotes the healing of injuries and surgical scars, and is used in the treatment of bronchitis, as it soothes coughs.

It can prevent the formation of blood clots and contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system. Bromelain may also help prevent cancer. Since bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down proteins, it helps digestion.

What is the difference between fresh and canned pineapple?

So fresh and canned pineapples differ firstly in their bromelain content, which is destroyed during canning.

In addition, there is a slight difference in their nutrient content, according to USDA data. The table below shows the differences between fresh and canned pineapples per 100g of fruit.

 Fresh pineapplePineapples canned in 100% pineapple juicePineapples canned in syrup
Energy45 kcal61 kcal60 kcal
Protein0.55 g0.51 g0.4 g
Carbohydrate11.8 g14.69 g15.6 g
Dietary fiber1.4 g1 g0.7 g
Sugars8.29 g11.62 g14.9 g
Calcium13 g10 mg14 g
Iron0.25 mg0.55 mg0.37 mg
Potassium125 mg106 mg117 mg
Vitamin C16.9 mg21.2 mg7.1 mg
Pineapple nutrition comparison table

Does canned pineapple has added sugar?

There are two types of canned pineapple. One is preserved with heavy syrup, and the other is made with 100% pineapple juice.

Canned pineapple with heavy syrup contains added sugar, and pure pineapple juice has no added sugar. This must be indicated on the packaging. This is worth paying attention to when you take the product off the supermarket shelf.

Is it okay to eat pineapples every day?

Pineapples can be a tasty and healthy part of our daily meals, but we should also pay attention to variety. To supply our body with all the necessary nutrients, it is best to combine a variety of vegetables and fruits.

The glycemic index of fresh pineapple is 66. Therefore, it belongs to the moderate category, which diabetics should be careful about.

  • Vitamin C has an antioxidant effect and helps the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. It is involved in the production of collagen, which we need for the proper function of our skin, joints, bones, and connective tissues.
  • Potassium regulates blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of stroke. It is also needed for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves.
  • We need iron to produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs through the bloodstream to all parts of the body.
  • Manganese is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves and brain. It regulates blood sugar levels but also participates in the synthesis of some hormones and tissues.
  • Manganese is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves and brain. It regulates blood sugar levels but also participates in the synthesis of some hormones and tissues.
  • We need magnesium for the functioning of muscles and nerves, it helps regulate blood pressure and thus prevent cardiovascular diseases.
  • Folate (vitamin B-8) is very important at the beginning of pregnancy, as it prevents defects in the nervous system of the fetus. It is also important in the production of red blood cells.
  • Beta carotene is the pre-vitamin of vitamin A, which is extremely important for our vision. It also plays an important role in the health of our skin.

How to store canned pineapple after opening?

If you opened the pineapple can and did not use it all at once, do not leave the rest in the can, as the metal can affect the taste of the fruit.

Put the remaining pineapple together with the juice into a plastic or glass container and keep it in the fridge. In this way, the pineapple will remain edible for about a week.

Canned pieapple rings

What to make with pineapple?

Ripe, tasty pineapple can be an excellent ingredient for salads and smoothies. It can be used as a filling or decoration for fruit cakes, such as these mini Pavlova desserts.

Homemade pineapple ice cream

This pineapple ice cream is an old favorite of mine and easy-to-make summer refreshment.

  • 300 g/10 oz heavy cream,
  • a 225 g/8 oz can of pineapple, from which we need the pineapple chunks and 1.5 dl/5 fl oz of juice,
  • 45 g/1.5 oz powdered sugar,
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle the sugar over the pineapple chunks and pour the lemon juice over it. Crush to a paste with an immersion blender.
  • Add the heavy cream and pineapple juice to the crushed pineapple, then mix it into a fluffy, homogeneous mass.
  • You can freeze the pineapple mixture in an ice cream maker if you have one. You can also make the ice cream without a machine using the following method: pour the pineapple mixture into a bowl and place it in the freezer. Take it out every half hour and mix it with a mixer. The ice cream will have a creamy texture with both preparation methods.

Why can’t you put fresh pineapples in gelatin?

Fresh pineapple cannot be bound by gelatin due to the protein-degrading effect of Bromelain. If you still want to use fresh pineapple with gelatin, you have to cook it first.

Alternatively, other gelling agents such as agar-agar can be used. Since Bromelain breaks down during the canning process, canned pineapple can be used together with gelatin.

Final thoughts

Both canned and fresh pineapple contains valuable vitamins and nutrients.

Canned pineapple is preserved in two ways: in heavy syrup or pure pineapple juice. Pineapple preserved in pure juice contains no added sugar.


Canned pineapple can usually safely be consumed by those who are sensitive to bromelain, as the canning process breaks down the enzymes.



My name is Debora, the founder of My Delicious Sweets, and a qualified confectioner with broad experience in the confectionery industry. On my blog, I will share important, interesting, and fun facts about food, along with some of my favorite recipes.

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