There are three popular pineapple varieties being produced in Vietnam: Queen Pineapple, CAYENNE pineapple (Smooth Cayenne/ Cayenne or Cayena Lisa) and MD2 Gold Pineapple (MD2 Golden Pineapple Golden Sweet pineapple).
Here is some information you may need to know before start your sourcing plan:
Pineapple is widely grown in Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, China, and India) and South Central America (Brazil, Costa Rica). A native to the tropics, the crop requires areas where the climate is warm, humid and free from extreme temperatures (25 °C being the optimal temperature). The fruit is grown all year round, although the sweetness of the fruit varies depending on various conditions.
While South Africa has a flourishing pineapple-growing sector, almost a third of the world’s pineapples are produced in Hawaii and South-East Asia. Commercial cultivars of pineapple are generally placed in five groups i.e. Cayenne, Queen, Spanish, Pernambuco and Mordilona. In international trade, the numerous pineapple cultivars are grouped into four main classes: ‘Smooth Cayenne’, ‘Red Spanish’, ‘Queen’, and ‘Abacaxi’, despite much variation in the types within each class.
In Vietnam, there are 3 popular pineapple varieties: Victoria Queen, Cayenne & MD 2
Pineapple Varieties 1: ‘Queen’ (also called ‘Common Rough’ in Australia)
QUEEN Pineapple is the most popular pineapple variety in Vietnam, sold all over the market / supermarket from north to south, and suitable for most people’s consumption tastes. The most recognizable feature of the Queen Pineapple is the stiny spine, dark purplish-green leaves, compact, more cold and disease resistant than ‘Smooth Cayenne’.
The fruit is conical, deep-yellow, with deep eyes which require a thick cut to remove the peel completely; is less fibrous than ‘Smooth Cayenne’. It is juicy and sweet, of fine flavor with a small, tender core. Fruits are spiny, golden yellow in color and emit pleasant aroma and flavor when ripe. The fruits are harvested when eyes turns yellow. Average weight of fruit varies from 600 – 800 g. It possesses all the good organoleptic qualities. Juice is bright yellow in color. TSS varies from 10o to 14o Brix depending upon the stage of maturity and season. PH4 to 4.5. Water content 80% to 90%. Queen cultivars are robust and show higher tolerance to stress, pests and diseases than ‘Smooth Cayenne’. However they are susceptible to black heart disorder.
Best time to source Queen Pineapple in Vietnam: From November to April.
Pineapple Varieties: ‘Cayenne’
CAYENNE pineapple (Smooth Cayenne’ or ‘Cayenne’, ‘Cayena Lisa’ ) is the second most popular pineapple in Vietnam, planted & harvested mostly in Tam Diep (Ninh Binh), Quynh Luu Nghe An), Dac Lac, Don Duong (Lam Dong) …
Not like Queen, Cayenne pineapple has very shallow eye socket, thin shell so you just need to peel a bit thick, no need to prune the pineapple after peeling. Also, having sufficient fiber for firm slices and cubes as well as excellent flavor make Cayenne prize for canning.
For that reason, More than 70% of the pineapple grown both for canning and fresh fruit in the world is from this cultivar. The production cycle for ‘Smooth Cayenne’ is longer than most of the other cultivars. Because of the plants near freedom from spines except for the needle at the leaf tip and the size-1.8 4.5 kg-cylindrical form, shallow eyes, orange rind, yellow flesh, high fiber, juiciness and rich mildly acid flavor, it has become of greatest importance worldwide even though it is subject to disease and does not ship well.
Best time to source Cayenne Pineapple in Vietnam: From May to October.
Pineapple Varieties: MD 2 Pineapple (Golden Yellow)
Third, pineapple MD2 / Golden Pineapple which is grown very limited in Vietnam today (due to difficult multiplication). It is one of the select hybrid products between Queen Pineapple and Cayenne Pineapple, so it carries the most prominent advantages of both parent varieties: Sweetness, nice taste & flavor, beautiful golden yellow such as Queen, but fruit is big and has shallow eye socket as Cayenne, which is perfect for canning. The identification feature of MD2 is the non-spiny leaf margin (Cayenne), ripened fruit has golden bright yellow.
Best time to source MD2 Pineapple in Vietnam: From May to July