The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it has given Del Monte the green light to grow a strain of pineapple genetically engineered to be pink, which was found to be “safe and nutritious.”
Labeled by Del Monte as “extra sweet pink fresh pineapple,” the genetically modified (GM) variety will be grown initially in Costa Rica.
Instead of the conventional yellow flesh, the GM pineapple made by the Del Monte Fresh Produce, had its genes toned down to keep the flesh of the fruit more pink.
The US-FDA noted in a report that Del Monte has filed information to demonstrate the pink flesh pineapple is safe and nutritious as the conventional yellow pineapple.
“The new pineapples have been genetically engineered to produce lower levels of enzymes already in conventional pineapple that convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed,” the US FDA noted.
The Department of Agriculture noted that the Philippine pineapple production area of 58,457 hectares produced 2,246,806 metric tons in 2011.
The Philippines is also considered second to Thailand in terms of processing, with 85 percent of the processing accounted for by Del Monte and Dole.