This project deals with two main problems in the pineapple industry: blackheart injury and crown deterioration. Blackheart injury in pineapple occurs after continuous cool storage (three days at temperatures below 21C) or low temperatures during fruit development (less than 25C during the day or less than 20C during the night combined with low light). Blackheart injury leads to the discolouration of the pulp of the pineapple. The only way to discover whether the injury has occurred is by cutting the pineapple open.
Nearly all of the blackheart injury experienced by the Australian pineapple industry occurs during fruit development. In Malaysia, as in many of the tropical regions, blackheart is primarily a postharvest problem.
Retention of crown (leaf) is an important determinant in product quality of pineapples. Although crown deterioration precedes fruit breakdown, the quality or freshness of the crown is used to judge the quality of the pineapple. While this problem is not a major one in Australia, it is of economic significance to the pineapple industry in Malaysia.