News

Secret life of pineapples and their health boosting benefits

Bungundarra pineapple farmers Eliane Barben and Barry Brooks have found pineapples are not just sweet treats.
Bungundarra pineapple farmers Eliane Barben and Barry Brooks have found pineapples are not just sweet treats. Allan Reinikka

EUROPEANS are sweet on Bungundarra pineapple farmer Barry Brooks' plants.

But it's not the tasty fruit they're hankering after - it's the enzyme bromelain in the juice and stem of the plants.

While Mr Brooks and his wife Eliane Barben's 400 acre farm harvests about four million pineapples a year, many of which are sold to Woolworths and Golden Circle, they are using the plants to branch into the cosmetics market.

The couple are in talks with a supplier for the popular Body Shop and eventually hope to sell it to pharmaceutical companies too.

Ms Barben already sells a special cream through her business.

Bromelain is known as an anti-inflammatory and has been touted as helping certain skin conditions and working against scarring.

It might be a secret to many Australians, but the health benefits of the plants date back centuries in South and Central America.

Bromelain is often used for digestion, as a supplement, and to boost general health.

It is also sought-after by medical practitioners in Germany for the treatment of inflammation, swelling and as a blood thinner.

Only this month University of New South Wales researchers revealed bromelain may be the key to making chemotherapy more effective for patients suffering from mesothelioma, a form of cancer commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mr Brooks has been working on methods for extracting the bromelain with Ken Dooley from LSC Solutions and CQUniversity Associate Professor Kerry Walsh.

Mr Dooley explained after harvesting the pineapples, they mulched the plants to take the juice out and extract the bromelain.

"It can't be synthesized, it must be taken directly from the plant," Mr Brooks said.

"I'd like to see all Australians use it to be happier, healthier and fitter."

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has been advising them about various Federal Government services that assist business groups with developing export markets.

She praised their vision as a courageous example of "tremendous innovation".

The MP said new ventures like this had the potential to bolster future employment, export potential and cash flow into the region.

SECRET INGREDIENT

Bromelain is sometimes used for:

  • pain after surgery, sprains and strains, and tendinitis
  • wounds and burns
  • sinus inflammations
  • arthritis
  • infection

Source: University of Maryland Medical Center

Topics:  health, medical research, pineapple



How a man makes it as a chef in Rocky, using only one arm

R-L: are Jez, Rocky Resort Motor Inn Manager Don McLeod and CQUni Chef Teacher Tim Wade.

'I've since learned that I should never judge a book by its cover'

Speculation of aliens, superman and plane crashes

No Caption

Was it a bird, was it a plane, was it superman?

Local Partners

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Projects hoped to revive Rockhampton real estate

There have been just over 800 house sales in Rockhampton this year

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

14% of renovators doing own electrical work?

Landscaping (46%), demolition (43%) and interior design (77%) are also often tackled head on by plucky homeowners.

And 12% said they did their own plumbing work