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Do Pineapples Have Needles? Everything You Need To Know

Pineapples can be a refreshing tropical addition during summer months but can be equally irritating due to the tiny needles that sting your tongue while enjoying the fruit.

Pineapple has small microscopic needles called raphides, which are bundles of calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are not harmful to the skin but can cause irritation and burning sensations to the skin on huge consumptions or if you eat an unripe pineapple.

The evolution of raphides in fruits like Pineapples was earlier than the fruit’s evolution and has been a successful defense mechanism for the fruits for millions of years.

So, go through this entire article to know about the small needles in Pineapples in detail with the techniques to get rid of these irritating things from your fruit.

Do Pineapples Have Needles?

When you observe Pineapple with a microscope, you can find the fruit having microscopic needles inside it. The needles are called raphides.

Basically, these microscopic needles are present in the unripe Pineapples. These are the bundles of calcium oxalate crystals.

Raphides are present in many fruits, such as Taro, Yam, Kiwi, Grapes, etc. They give a tingling sensation to the mouth when you consume more than enough due to the bunch of calcium oxalate crystals.

Peeled Pineapple fruit to remove needles
Pineapple has microscopic needles mostly on the outer skin.

Moreover, Pineapple also has an enzyme called bromelain that reacts with the skin protein of the human or animal body.

You can find the microneedles or raphides in the outer surface, called the eyes, and the central portion, called the core of the Pineapple.

The eyes in the outer skin have small thorn-like particles, but they do not sting as they are soft.

Are The Needles In Pineapple Dangerous?

Needles or raphides in Pineapple are not dangerous to you if you consume the fruit moderately. Moreover, these small needles cannot break or damage your skin.

However, upon the huge consumption, the bromelain inside the fruit starts to react with the proteins of your skin.

If the conditions persist, they can give burning sensations with itching that can irritate your mouth and inner throat.

Additionally, if the person has mouth or throat allergies, eating pineapples can be dangerous. So, you must be cautious if you have sensitive skin.

Furthermore, the tingling and burning sensations can even persist for a longer time if you detach and consume unripe pineapples from the Pineapple plant.

The raphides or needles in Pineapples are present as a defense mechanism against herbivores. Due to the burning sensations and irritations, most herbivores avoid the fruit to include in their daily diet.

How To Get Rid Of Pineapple Needles?

Raphides are present in every pineapple fruit as they protect its fruit against external damage.

Moreover, the raphides also help to keep the fruit firm by supporting the cell walls and inner lining of the fruit. However, these microneedles can create a problem while you are trying to enjoy the sweet and refreshing fruit.

  • Use the good quality Pineapple peeler to peel off the skin with the eyes of Pineapple.
  • Always throw away the middle portion before you enjoy the fruits.
  • If possible, cook the Pineapple before eating them. Cooked Pineapple also tastes delicious, and cooking removes microneedles too.
  • Only use the ripe Pineapple to consume as unripe ones may cause mouth allergies.
  • After you peel and remove the outer and inner core, soak your Pineapple in salt water for 30 minutes before eating.
  • Also, make sure you remove or peel off every hard nodule from the fruit before consuming.

Avoid scratching the affected area, and apply calamine lotion in case of skin irritation. Consult the dermatologist if the problem persists.

From Editorial Team

Additional Information!

As raphides contain calcium oxalate crystals, their presence in the fruit is to store calcium in the fruit in a readily available form.

However, calcium oxalate crystals bind a lot of heavy metals into the plant, which is harmful to the overall development of the plant.

So, the microneedles or raphides aid in detoxifying the toxic heavy metals and make the plant and its fruit healthy.